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The purpose of this book is to give the children who read it a living knowledge of Australia and the chief islands of the world, and especially those which have become colonies or dependencies of the United States. Within the past few years our own territories have been extended to the other side of the globe. We have acquired new lands with new climates, resources, and products. We have adopted into our national family millions of people belonging to races different from ours, having different customs and a different civilization. In our far-away lands the whole aspect of nature seems changed, and we seem to be in a new world. This is so not only of Samoa, Hawaii, and the Philippines, but also of Porto Rico and our dependent sister republic of the West Indies, the great island of Cuba.
This book aims to take the children themselves into this new world. In a personally conducted tour through the eyes of the author they travel over it, seeing our brown-skinned cousins of the several colonies as they are at home. They learn about the resources of the various islands, and of their value to the United States. They visit the people on the farms and in the factories. They spend some time in the cities and villages, and they explore the wilds, observing the wonders of plant and animal creation.
A glance at the contents will give some idea of the scope of the tour. Not only our colonies, but also Australia and the chief islands of the world, have been visited. The most important parts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans are traversed by the pupils, who are taken on a zigzag trip around the globe and introduced to many strange parts of it usually omitted in books of this nature.
Much of this volume is based upon the personal investigations of the author in the countries described, and many of the . illustrations are reproduced from photographs taken by him. This is especially so of those chapters relating to Porto Rico, Samoa, Hawaii, and the Philippines, which have been visited for the purpose of writing this book since they became a part of the United States.
Great care has been taken not only as to the colonies, but also as respects all the islands described, that the descriptions be as accurate and as up to date as possible. The territory is, however, so vast and so varied, covering as it does the whole world, that only the most important places and things can be mentioned, the subjects being chosen with due regard to child interest and at the same time instruction.
These travels are not intended to take the place of the school geographies, but they should be used with them as a supplementary reader.
As with the volumes already published describing similar tours in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe, the text-books on geography may be regarded as the skeleton, and this reader as the flesh and blood which will clothe its dry bones and make our colonial possessions and the other islands of the seas a living whole in the minds of the pupils.
42. Zanzibar and Other East
AUSTRALIA, OUR COLONIES, AND
OTHER ISLANDS OF THE SEA
I. GENERAL VIEW OF AUSTRALIA
THIS book will describe the tour of a party of boys and
girls around the world on the lookout for strange lands and strange peoples. Every child who reads it shall be one of the party. He must forget, for the time, that he is in America and imagine himself with us in those far-away countries.
We are to explore the chief islands of this big round earth. A look at the map will show you what a vast number of them there are and how they are scattered. Some lie on the edge of the broiling Equator, others are close to the ice-clad poles. Some are high islands formed by the peaks of volcanic mountains which have been thrown up out of the sea; others are low islands built up by little coral animals from the bed of the ocean.
There are so many islands that our tour must be carefully planned that we may not miss the principal ones, and even with the best of planning it will be impossible to set foot upon all.
Avoiding the greater land divisions we shall start with