Two American girls pen a travelogue about Madrid, Spain.
The debut author, 10-year-old Isabella, joins her 13-year-old sister, Tatiana (Athens: Top 50 Places, 2012), to offer an insider’s guide to Madrid. When Mandis’ parents decided to move the family from New York City to Madrid for five months, the young authors began to research the history, culture, architecture and language of their adopted home. This resulting travelogue reflects the girls’ firsthand experiences living in the city. Included are maps of Madrid, with detailed legends of touring areas such as Retiro Park, Old City Center and Palacio. A short history of Madrid and a list of the top 50 places to visit follow. The guide organizes points of interest by touring areas and includes castles, government buildings, hotels, churches, museums, fountains, parks and sports arenas. Some of the most fascinating entries cover landmarks like the Royal Palace of Madrid; the Royal Theatre and restored Opera House; the Buen Retiro Park; the National Library; and the Golden Triangle of Art––or the Art Walk. Located along the Paseo del Prado, the Art Walk comprises three art museums and houses the works of Spanish masters El Greco, Picasso and Dali. Necessary travel information is organized clearly in sections labeled, “What You Need to Know,” “Practical Information” and “Find It.” To avoid a dry, textbooklike feel, the authors include color photos and anecdotes throughout, with a few whimsical entries like: “Five Things About Columbus You Probably Do Not Know.” A detailed look at the history and cultural significance of bull fighting is illuminating. Like true Madrileños (natives of Madrid), the girls share recommendations for special restaurants, “must-see” exhibits and scenic vantage points. The guide’s best feature is the section “Madrid in One Day”––an invaluable resource for travelers on a limited schedule or budget. Overall, despite some lapses in voice—“Terrace Le Cabrera…bar is super cool”—the writing is adept and the guide, informative and practical.
A well-organized, charming guide to Madrid.