Voyage to the edge of the world is part of the Usborne Puzzle Adventure book series. The books are targeted towards children and feature a mystery storyline where readers need to solve puzzles and search for clues within the pictures. There’s a clue and answer page to assist the reader. When I was a little girl, I use to spend all my pocket money on these books. The books were five dollars each which was a lot of money for an eight year old. I went through a detectives and spies phase as a kid so I loved the puzzles in the books. The books were too hard for me to read when I was eight so I didn’t quite understand the story. I couldn’t solve many of the puzzles as well mostly because I didn’t have the patience to do so. Despite this, I thought the books were cool and bought them anyway.
So when I saw this book for sale in a charity store I decided to buy it for the nostalgia. I actually had a copy of this book when I was little too. The book is about two siblings named Charlie and Will who are vacationing in a fictional seaside town called Parilla. Charlie and Will decide to rent a boat which capsizes. They get rescued by a ship with a crew who are recreating a historical sea voyage by explorer Christofe Catastrofe to the edge of the world. There is a legend that there is a lost city called Texlpochzil which is said to have a potion to eternal life. The crew are ordered by the Queen of Parilla to stop for no one and so Charlie and Will are stuck on the ship too. Along the way, the crew run into things the reader has to solve and there is a sabotager on the boat as well.
This time around, I found the book easy to read. I don’t think the story is very entertaining but this book is written for children. Maybe I’ve grown out of it. Most of the puzzles or activities were easy to solve. I also checked to see I was right in the answer page. I felt that some of the puzzles had more than one right answer but the book only supplied one answer. For example, on page 14-15, you have to guide a boat through a maze. My route is much faster but the answer page has the boat going all away around the maze.
Click on the image to enlarge, see if you can go through the maze. Read the text to see what you have to do.
Sorry it's crooked, I couldn't get it to lie flat on the scanner.
My favourite puzzle was the Bridges of Texlpochzil on page 25. I thought that puzzle was challenging and fun. See if you can work it out.
The number by each bridge shows the number of people who must cross it. Only one bridge in a set may be crossed at a time, and only in one direction. Once a bridge has been crossed in one direction, only people going the other way can cross a bridge in that set. Guards on every bridge ensure that everyone obeys or is thrown in the lake. Ixplorati says that sight of visitors fleeing the lake crocodiles is much enjoyed by all.
Excerpt from Voyage to the Edge of the World written by Lesley Sims and illustrated by Peter Wingham p 25. Click on the picture to solve the bridge puzzle.
How did you go?
I do like the idea of this series but I don’t find the storylines very entertaining. But anything that encourages reading is a good thing. I am still going to collect the books anyway. I’m going to be a teacher one day and maybe my students would like to read the series. I want to be able to discuss the books with the kids so I am going to read all the books I collect. I think the book is best suitable for children aged 8-10, if they are good readers. If they are not good readers, they will need the help of a more competent reader. The helper should check that the child is understanding by discussing with them the pictures, unfamiliar words and puzzles.