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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Explore the Sights of Berlin Divided - Berlin United by Bibi LeBlanc is a non-fiction coloring book that guides a reader through the most fascinating sites of the famous German city, written in both English and German. The book covers a wide range of highly popular and not so well known spots with a combination of black and white coloring book style clip art and poignant facts about the depicted landmarks. In a unique twist, LeBlanc writes the descriptions with a brief introduction to its history in the two languages, a marriage that works well for those who may be studying German or, just as likely, learning English. LeBlanc sheds light on her history with the city and its past. The timing of the book's release coincides with the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, dancing between the city's two distinct sides when Berlin was divided, and how it stands now as a city united.
What a fun coloring book Explore the Sights of Berlin Divided - Berlin United is! It is sometimes easy to forget how much progress there has been that makes thirty years feel like it was in an altogether different lifetime. The most interesting parts for me were the ruins of a communist machine that built a wall overnight and completely cut families apart. Bibi LeBlanc doesn't mince words as she describes electrified barbed wire and snipers standing between individuals who were effectively trapped on whichever side of the wall they happened to live. There is a rendering of the former East German car Trabant that had a plastic body and a ten-year waiting list to buy. This wait also applied to my daughter out of whose hands I had to wrestle the picture since the floral hippie design was exactly what she wanted to color. I'll probably give it to her in less than ten years. In the meantime, I'm delighted to take a spin through Berlin via my armchair with LeBlanc as my personal guide.