This is a review I previously wrote for four books in the Whole Story Series (Call of the Wild, The Jungle Book, Treasure Island, and Around the World in Eighty Days). I hope someone finds this helpful in their decision to purchase these books. :)
This is a wonderful series for children (and adults) who value learning through literature--especially classic literature. What makes it even more appealing to parents and educators is the way the publishers have integrated historically relevant facts with the complete, unabridged text. Each classic branches over several areas of learning--history, culture, geography, customs, animal life, architecture, literature, and science.
The Call of the Wild includes sidebars, maps, photographs, line drawings, diagrams, and paintings describing the Gold Rush, Klondike region, transcontinental railroad, sledding, traveling routes, harsh conditions, animal life, tools and procedures used for mining gold, and more.
The Jungle Book provides details about India, animal life, religious landmarks and architecture, culture and customs. It also includes two-page features on wolf children, the seal massacre, and a photo spread of India.
Around the World in Eighty Days takes the reader across a geographical journey using various forms of transportation. Maps, illustrations, and photographs provide rich detail into the culture and landmarks of many different locales and the means of transportation used in each leg of the journey.
Treasure Island provides abundant information on ocean-related topics--sailors, pirates, treasure chests, ocean voyages, living conditions, crimes and punishment, weaponry, traditions, slavery, animal and plant life, medicine and disease, and more. It includes two- or three-page spreads featuring ocean charts, navigational instruments, compasses, types of ships, a cut-out diagram of a ship's compartments, sails, rigging, ropework, points of sail, and famous pirates.
These books inspire an integrated approach to learning and would make a wonderful addition to your home library.