Pretty soon the summer holidays will be on us. Children, free of their exams will now expect to be regaled and entertained. Mothers will hide in dark corners, hoping their children don't spot them for five seconds. You will find children zombie-like fingers on their Gameboy consoles or draped over a couch watching tv. "I'm bored" will be the hated phrase you will hear over and over...Unless...You do something smart, very smart about it. You need to be armed with a bevvy of options - hiking, trekking, errands, spring cleaning, grandparents and puzzles.Puzzles that confound, confuse and make those brain cells work happily. Quirky problems that make the hours seem like minutes and make the 'summer vacationer' look like a dog with a bone. Standing tall among puzzle books is the wonderful 'Around the World in 80 Puzzles' by Pooja Lulla. Puzzles of every sort spread over many geographical spots around the world can be found at the turn of a page. Charming illustrations by Archana Sreenivasan further set the fun tone of the book.Cambodia, Poland, Egypt, Nepal, Turkey, Peru, Argentina, South Africa,  London, Morocco all become the backdrop of all sorts of puzzles. Little Kulture had the opportunity to pick author Pooja Lulla's brain on how she came up with the idea of a puzzle book that taught Geography on the side.

Our world has so many fascinating and beautiful places and people. I wanted to introduce my readers to them in a fun and light-hearted manner so that they grow curious to explore and know more. I thought the best way to do so would be via this beautifully illustrated puzzle book. In a way, this book sends my young readers to a different place with every new page and solving the puzzles turns them into explorers.

A puzzle set in Peru

The puzzles have been crafted not just to highlight an important feature of the place in focus, but also to help children develop different skills. The book has everything right from jigsaws, crosswords, memory games, word searches, rebus and logic puzzles. We even have a treasure hunt in the book that subtly teaches children the names of many African countries, and lots more about them. And then there's a fun board game that takes children across Rome and teaches them more about the city, its monuments and culture.

Puzzles and skills? Pray how we asked the author.

Children have a short attention span. But once they start working on a puzzle, they get completely involved and will only stop once they have finished fully. This encourages perseverance. Puzzles like jigsaws where they have to see how pieces fit together help develop spatial skills. Word puzzles lead to word fluency. With regards to your second question, yes, a puzzle book is a lot more fun, colourful, interesting and challenging, and even surpasses all the different forms of entertainment we have today.

Find your way out of a maze

We expected a pocket book of puzzles, but what got delivered was an A4 size, full-colour book choc-a-bloc with puzzles.

Spot the countries as you sail down the Nile

Tasty nuggets of information are juxtaposed with the puzzles, making it a very interesting read.

The Black Forest of Germany. That reminds me,there's pastry in the fridge.

We also asked a 12-year-old reader what they liked about the book.

It's challenging, interesting and tells us about different countries in an easy way.

If you are still not convinced it might help to remember the words of physicist  and Nobel Laureate Richard.P.Feynman

Once I get on a puzzle, I can't get off.

Can't argue with that, can we?