Some things you just can’t part with. For example, I have been unable for years to toss my parents set of The Book of Knowledge – The Children’s Encyclopedia. Hardly collectibles, my editions are a mishmash of volumes from 1912 to 1935. Although extremely outdated they feature beautiful illustrations, along with a healthy dose of worldly knowledge.


Within the pages of the encyclopedia, was a feature on Things to Make and Things to Do. Here, for example, was a game to play while sitting around the fire on a cold winter’s day. One boy or girl reads out the descriptions given and the game is to guess the places. 

Important: Remember this text was published in 1912 and is a work of its time. I have reprinted the descriptions intact,  correcting only major typographical errors. You might find an occasional out-of-date ethnic or cultural stereotyping reference, along with a variety of other items surrounding work, play, fun, and life in general. Keep that in mind as you work to guess Where is it?

Book of Knowledge Cover

The City of Crowded Streets

How hot it is? The sun’s rays beat down from a cloudless sky so fiercely that our eyes turn with relief to the broad river speeding by eastwards. Low down on the banks are crowds of people with brown skins, and here and there some wearing white turbans. They are bathing in the water and crowding up and down stone steps, leading to curious little buildings. Can these be little temples? Further along, the bank’s steamers are busy loading indigo and saltpeter to take away to England. All around we hear strange speech, and we look in vain for clean streets. How narrow and crooked they appear!


The City with the Golden Dome

It is winter, and we are in a big city where the streets are deeply covered with snow; there is no sound of vehicles, only the tinkling of sleigh-bells and voices to break the silence. The shops have signboards and objects hung outside to tell what they sell because many of the people cannot read, and certainly, we cannot recognize letters. We follow the way the sleighs take and come to a cathedral with a golden dome and wide granite pillars at the entrance. In front is a river — but a river froze over. The ice will bear carriages; it will stay there till the spring, and when it melts there will be a religious ceremony and a blessing of the waters.


Trees For Europe’s Ships

We are in a country covered with thick forest, so dense that it is only with great difficulty we can make a way through it. Hark! That must be men sawing wood and chopping down trees, and a young Englishman, wearing a white helmet, is directing them, and — why, yes; those big animals working so hard are elephants. They are piling up the big logs with their strong trunks as though they were handling little sticks, and others are dragging along the chained trunks. The Englishman tells us they are clearing away for a railway through the forest, and the teak-trees they are cutting down are going to countries in Europe, to be used for building ships. He says there are nearly twenty thousand square miles of tropical forest, and that some tigers and leopards have been seen near. Do you know what country we are in?

The Answers to the Game will be featured in next week’s Thursday blog – The Game of “What is It?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *