For a trip to Prague – or if you are not cross-country, then for a trip through Prague – pack a fun Výletník and artist Karolína Čaplová. Children will not be bored, they will learn something new and they will also want to talk – the interactive notebook guide to Prague stimulates inquisitive questions and stimulates imagination and family memories.
Prague would fit in Shanghai thirteen times
Karolina Caplova: Prague. Excursionist and artist. Verzone, Prague, 2022, 48 p.
Do you like to travel smart with your children? Do you plan in advance where you will go and what will be seen there? Do you prefer experiences to a brewery of guide explanations? If you are going to take a trip to the capital of the Czech Republic during the holidays, you may need a “excursionist and artist” Karolína Čaplová called Prague. Select a destination at home and don’t forget to pack a travel guide. Thanks to the distinctive yellow envelope, you won’t love it from a backpack for half an hour, your hand will reach for sure. A clear arrangement according to the numbering of Prague districts will speed up the browsing of the right page. The text honors the principle that less is more, the workbook is clearly dominated by playful tasks, thanks to which the sights seen and the newly acquired knowledge better stuck in memory. How many times in connection with the size of Prague have you heard that “it would even fit in Shanghai thirteen times”?
Some activities can be done by children at home, others entertain them along the way, the rest ask for help directly from the place where the tourists go. Punching out a few pieces of information from the rich history of a large city, moreover, in an effort to attract and at the same time inconspicuously teach, this is quite an assignment with countless correct solutions. Which is offered by a young author of a creative Prague guide Karolina Caplova?
He will invite the children to go through the Royal Journey with their parents or friends, which every Czech king had to complete before the coronation. It offers a few tips on where to get the best view of the city and what not to miss on the hills and hills – a fun mirror maze on Petřín, Slavín on Vyšehrad, Vítkov’s largest equestrian statue in Europe. It reveals where there were icehouses and large slaughterhouses in Prague in the past or where the “Prague Old Town Lime” used in the construction of houses in the 19th and 20th centuries came. He recommends tram line 17 for the best sightseeing ride through Prague, and train lovers should try Prague Semmering.
Although the text in the booklet is few, the tips are very specific and practical (Semmering from Smíchov only from the northern platform!). Each of the ten Prague districts that showed in the selection are dedicated two sides; we only get a brief information about the place from the “must see” list, but the various tasks that make children the most happy and that make this modest paperback publication unique are imaginatively packed with it. Pencils and coloring books, connectors and mazes, but also a crossword puzzle with a secret, search engines, adders, pedigree scheme, inspired by Czechoslovak legionaries, Vltava fish license plate, drawing and naming constellations that can be seen above the Hvězda summer house, encrypted document from Great Britain . . The varied offer will satisfy curious and explorers from about four to eight years.
There is usually no shortage of surprises on the road, with new impressions and knowledge we also realize new contexts. The collage art technique that Čaplová chose for her book corresponds perfectly with this experience. Black-and-white photographs, multi-colored clippings, pencil drawings and notes, as well as simple computer design for map diagrams, for example. Just to give you an idea: perhaps a booklet remotely – even because of the thematic closeness – could evoke the original pragensia of Michaela Kukovičová and Olga Černá This is Praguewhich is one of the parts of the clown series of urban portraits It is… published by Baobab.
Karolína Čaplová originally prepared her author’s book as a bachelor’s thesis in the Graphic Design Studio at the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art at the UWB in Pilsen and received the Good Student Design award for it. She is said to have been inspired during a study stay in Poland, from where she brought a creative notebook on ecology as a gift for her younger brother. The concept of the “artist” goes beyond the proven method of school by playing in that children do not imitate anything, do not play “like”, but actively complete their workbook, personify it, combine knowledge with experience. I wish we could see another excursionist! I wish the next notebook would leave the territory of the metropolis and we could travel with it elsewhere in the Czech meadows and groves!
© Jitka Nesporova