Attorney Michael Rosenberger never planned on writing a book for children - that is, until the day he took his family to Boston for a vacation.
"When I was planning the trip, I found lots of travel guides for adults visiting Boston, but none designed specifically for young children or those who could not yet read," explains the Chestnut Hill resident. "Once we returned home, I decided to write a guidebook for children, starting with our favorite places here in Philadelphia."
And so was born Rosenberger's ABC Travel Guides for Kids - Philadelphia. Working along with his two young daughters, Emily and Carly (who posed for pictures and added their voices to determining the family's ultimate picks for what to do), the colorful book not only contains photos of many area attractions, but also helps children learn their ABCs while they search for interesting places to visit.
For example, the art museum and Avenue of the Arts are listed under the letter "A," followed by Broad Street and the Betsy Ross House under "B," Chinatown and the giant clothespin sculpture under "C," and so on.
The book also features a place for young readers to write their names and age, as well as when they were out discovering Philadelphia and with whom. The last page features a spot where they can list their own top spots.
Rosenberger says that some of his daughters' favorite places include the Love Sculpture, the huge dominos in the courtyard of the Municipal Services Building and Elfreth's Alley.
And speaking of Elfreth's Alley, the photo in the book under "E" features Rosenberger's own little daughter, taken at 6 a.m. one Sunday morning.
Why so early?
"Well," he replies, "we lead a hectic life, and so we've got to adapt our schedule. Also, getting up early and getting there with the kids before the crowds arrived was fun."
It's also neat, he adds, to be traveling around the city and come across the book, which the girls are quite proud of: "We'll be in the Franklin Institute or the Please Touch Museum, for example, when Emily will see the book and say in a loud voice, 'That's my book!'
"Of course, people will look at her, and then she shows them how she's in the book and that her daddy wrote it. That's fun, too."
With more than 500 copies of the book already sold, Rosenberger says he's planning more.
"I'd like to do maps that are particularly geared to young children, as well as coloring books, which are special favorites of my daughters because they love to color. I'd also like to produce similar books on New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington and other cities."
For more information, log on to: www.kidstravelguides . com.