Reviewed for High School, 2008

How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum

Think of this less as a book and more as a guide to individuality, creativity, self-expression, and positive thinking. This tome teaches that everything around us--from coffee cup rings on notebooks to a crumpled up leaf--is the stuff of great art, and merits closer observation and analysis. From writing prompts, such as "Make a poem based on the titles of books," to activity suggestions, like creating a natural mini-ecosystem, your teen will delight in this hand-written, hand-drawn book. There's space in the back for documenting objects and experiences found in his own life, and plenty of encouragement to look closely at the world and expressing what he sees. An inspiring gift for the holiday season, it will inspire your child to start today on his journey towards discovering one of the great secrets of the universe: everything is interesting if you know how to look at it. (Perigee Trade, $14.95)