August 13, 2003 - Star Tribune: Dominican Republic RPCVs Angela and Brian Gustafson write "Imagine a House" for children

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Dominican Republic RPCVs Angela and Brian Gustafson write "Imagine a House" for children

Read and comment on this story from the Star Tribune about Dominican RepublicRPCVs Angela and Brian Gustafson who have found a way for grade-schoolers to learn more about cultural and global diversity. They've created "Out of the Box," a publishing house focused on "expanding the borders of young minds." Read the story at:

Review: ''Imagine a House'' gives a window on the world*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Review: ''Imagine a House'' gives a window on the world

Published August 13, 2003


Angela Gustafson and her husband, Brian, experienced the thrill of new places and new faces as Peace Corps volunteers in the mid-'90s.

"By the end of our service," said Angela, "Brian and I were brainstorming all kinds of educational ideas to help share the world's cultures with children. We corresponded with a number of U.S. classrooms while living abroad, and witnessed firsthand their fascination with how life is both similar and different for kids in other parts of the world."

Now the Gustafsons, of Minneapolis, have found a way for grade-schoolers to learn more about cultural and global diversity. They've created Out of the Box, a publishing house focused on "expanding the borders of young minds."

Angela's first book in the What a World We Live In series is "Imagine a House" (Out of the Box, $16.95), and it throws open the door on a topic of universal interest.

Readers are invited to visit 15 countries, arrive at the doorsteps of 22 houses, and discover how they were built and meet the people who live in them.

Colorful maps, artwork and photos make for information that will be easily enjoyed and remembered.

And the next book in the series? "Some of the [first] book's photographers have already cast their votes," said Angela Gustafson. "We are also taking readers' opinions on our Web site: But for now, I just want to focus on introducing 'Imagine a House' to as many people as possible."

Jarrett Smith

More about "Out of the Box" Publishers

Read more about "Out of the Box" Publishers at:

"Out of the Box" Publishers

"Out of the Box" is an independent creator of books and other products that make learning about the world we live in a uniquely fun experience for the young and not-so-young alike! If you like to see new to expand the borders of your mind... try our products!

In August 1994, Angela and Brian Gustafson left for the Dominican Republic to begin an incredible two-year journey as Peace Corps Volunteers along the Haitian border. The culture, environment and friendships we experienced as volunteers not only fostered a passion for learning about other cultures, but planted an idea to share that knowledge through products we would want for our own children.

In 1998, "Out of the Box" was established. The early years involved researching ideas and taking classes amidst careers and raising a family. By late 2001, the vision for Imagine a House was taking shape and Angela turned her focus towards its creation.

Imagine a House: A Journey to Fascinating Houses Around the World makes its debut as the first in the What a World We Live In series. Each book in the series will feature a fresh topic to share the uniqueness and beauty of different cultures around the world. Please, contact us to share your thoughts and cast your vote for future book topics!

Expanding the Borders of Young Minds

Here's what others are saying about Imagine a House...

Imagine a House is a wonderful book that reminds me of what draws all people together. We may carry our houses on our backs or we may build more permanent structures. In any case, in any language, a house is also a home. This book honors the concept of home for all people. Thank you!
-ANN BANCROFT, renowned polar explorer, leader, educator and speaker

In matters of diversity and culture, children learn best from other children. In Imagine a House, Ms. Gustafson draws from her own diverse background to create a colorful and readily accessible portal for young readers to explore the world - through the eyes of other children. Richly photographed, artfully designed and consummately readable, Imagine a House belongs on every school and home library shelf.
-DAN BUETTNER, famed cyclist, explorer, educator and speaker

Angela Gustafson's Imagine a House packs much information into an interesting and well-designed picture book. Learning about houses around the world provides an opportunity to learn more about other people. We need more books like this.
-JOHN COY, children's author (Two Old Potatoes and Me, Vroomaloom Zoom)

Imagine a House is a unique, high-quality, kid-friendly glimpse into houses around the world. This is a wonderful book that highlights our world community - and our place in it. I highly recommend Imagine a House for school and public libraries, and for all those interested in the world around us!
-SUSAN CARR BROWN, Youth Services Department, Minneapolis Public Library

I love it! This is a great book. I'm serious when I say it's great!
-ELLEN, age 7, Minnetonka, MN

You have already inspired one little girl. Abby sat down and is on her third book. She wrote one on houses, flowers and people. All because of your book!
-ANNE, mom, Milwaukee, WI

Imagine a House takes children on a trip to 15 countries and 22 unusual houses, from round houses in Peru, to beehive houses in Syria, to houseboats in the Philippines. Stunning photographs, colorful maps, and creative explanations and information, make this a journey kids will want to take time and again.

Imagine a House is a book that even young children could pore over on their own, and that teachers will delight in using with a group. Discussion questions and activity ideas round out what I think is a quite perfect book.
-MARYANN WEIDT, children's author (Oh, the Places He Went)

You did a super job on Imagine a House! I loved all the commentaries in down to earth jargon for kids. The activities are fabulous. You should have this book sent to every school in the country for their libraries. Keep up the fine work.
-SISTER BABS BARRY, Inn of the Good Samaritan, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Dominican Republic; Children's Books; Writing - Dominican Republic



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