Oh, the Places You Will Go: Introducing Children to Travel Through Reading


Few parents can afford to bundle their children onto a plane and jet around the world. For a considerably smaller sum of cash, you can introduce your kids to other cultures and plains through books. No, it won’t be exactly the same – how can you describe the overpowering odors of a spice market, or the incredible toll jet lag takes on your body? Books give a taste, a very sweet and fantastical hint, of the real thing.

Ideally, you should experience this journey together. Inevitably, you and your children will thirst for more: this list is only meant as the beginning.


Toot & Puddle

by Holly Hobby

Toot & Paddle: Top of the World

The first in a series of books about two adorable pigs, Puddle decides to take  a trip around the world, and Toot stays home in Woodcock Pocket. A series of postcards from Puddle arrives from nine different countries. Holly Hobby successfully combines the enchantment of foreign countries and the comforts of home. Her illustrations are simply gorgeous (this author’s personal favorite is the heavenly yellow elephant in India), and the brief descriptions a la postcards are spot on for allowing the reader to fill in the blanks. Children will also enjoy inspecting the postmark to discover exactly where the postcard was mailed. If you enjoy this one, you might like Toot & Puddle: Top of the World, which is more about modes of travel than actual places.


How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

by Marjorie Priceman

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the WorldIf you want to make an apple pie and the market is closed, what do you do? According to Marjorie Priceman, you go to the source. Gather semolina wheat from the Italian countryside, collect a French chicken for her eggs, to Sri Lanka for cinnamon, and so on. A handy world map in the flyleaf lets you track the main character’s (an unnamed girl) progress. The story is deliciously fantastical, but if you’re hungry for a taste of reality after reading, there’s a recipe for apple pie on the last page.


Papa Piccolo

by Carol Talley and Itoko MaenoPapa_piccolo

Concerning a bachelor tomcat and some orphaned kittens, this story takes place in the romantic city of Venice. The illustrator does not disappoint; gondolas and watery canals play a prominent role in the scenery. The adult eye will appreciate Maeno’s use of watercolors in the background, but kids will “aw” over the kitties too.


The Story about Ping

by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese

Ping is a young duck who wants to avoid a spanking when he is last in line at the end of the day to board his master’s “boat with two wise eyes on the Yangtze river.” Instead, Ping hides and explores the river, with nearly fatal results. Young children will enjoy the gentle use of repetition in the story. Your kids will probably ask about the boy’s unusual hairstyle (in fact, you’d better hide the clippers after reading this book). The Story about Ping eases you into the vast country of China, and it might be nice to find out if people are still fishing the Yangtze river, or herding ducks, in the same way today. Or, delve deeper into Chinese culture with the chapter book Little Pear by Eleanor Francis Lattimore.


Arabian Nights: Three TalesArabian Nights: Three Tales Front Cover by Deborah Nourse Lattimore

by Deborah Nourse Lattimore

Although it’s too bad she left out Scheherezade completely, these scaled-down tales are just right as an introduction to the enchantment of Arabian Nights. Author/illustrator Lattimore imbues scenes with rich tints and details.

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You don’t need to pack your bags to enjoy traveling using books as your magic carpet. Give your kids a passport (aka library card) and let the journey begin.



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1 comment

  1. lista de email

    hi, good post. i want to thank you for this informative read, i really appreciate sharing your post. keep up your work…

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