Introduce that upcoming trip, the gentle reader's way

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Introduce that upcoming trip, the gentle reader's way

What to read with your youngsters before traveling to a different space, time zone or experience

Are you interested in preparing your youngest traveler for an adventure? The following titles, fiction as well as non-fiction, were chosen for their visual appeal, to share a simple travel plot or to celebrate the enormous variety of destinations by presenting facts in a fun format. Typical places to visit, as well as offbeat experiences (like lights out in a city apartment) are described, so preparing you and your youngster as you head off to a different space, time zone or experience. Bon voyage!

A Classic Series of 20 books by M. Sasek: “This is…”  
 
This series was authored by Miroslav Šašek'. Šašek, who originally trained as an architect, illustrated his pages with colorful, happy art work. It is suitable for readers 8 to 80. Look for the illustrator, cartoonish in style, carrying an art portfolio, on the inside covers of each book. Graphics from the 1950's, retro style, have been preserved through all re-editions, showing off a “keen eye and sense of fun”. Each book’s content has been updated. In This is Israel  you will find six vocabulary words explained: “shalom”, “sheikh”, “Bedouin”, “Falafel”, and “Sabbath”. Other titles include This is Historic Britain, This is Ireland and This is Washington, D.C.

Blackout by John Rocco

How about setting the scene up, at home, for a “stay-cation”, instead of going away on a traditional vacation? For the youngest adventurers, using time and space creatively is key to success in this. Award winner John Rocco, in Blackout, presents us with this option. In this exceptionally well illustrated book, leisure and recreation are redefined for the family.

Australia to Zimbabwe: A Rhyming Romp Around the World to 24 Countries by Ruth Fitts
 
This is a treasury of information about 24 countries, presented with engaging craft activities, recipes, rhymes, gorgeous photos, detailed maps and fun activities. Its tone is child friendly, its format bite sized. This is well researched, well presented, and interest-generating. Its author, children’s librarian Ruth Fitts, clearly knows and loves her intended audience.

Peppa Pig and the Great Vacation  by Neville Astley and Mark Baker
 
With our youngest readers in mind, authors Neville Astley and Mark Baker in Peppa Pig and the Great Vacation include three generations in this vacation story: grandparents who stay behind to pet sit, parents who accompany, and the two siblings, George and Peppa. The pet is missed by Peppa and so there is a phone call back home; then later, more assurance is sought as she writes and sends a postcard. Afterwards, travelers find animal tracks to be identified, a tide pool to be investigated and an enlarged pet on their return home.

Fancy Nancy at the Museum by Jane O'Connor
 
The museum, a popular destination for many vacationers, is featured in this series book, Fancy Nancy at the Museum by Jane O’Connor. Fancy Nancy experiences an upset stomach on a school bus ride, has to change her carefully selected trip clothes, and then exults in being praised for her powers of observation at the museum’s gallery. The vocabulary list at the end include “beret”, “gallery”, “landscape” and “merci”.
 
Eloise’s Summer Vacation by Kay Thompson
 
Eloise, her pet dog, the nanny and the family butler take to the road on a trip from the northeast to the southwest, in Eloise’s Summer Vacation by Kay Thompson. Niagara Falls, The Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore and the Golden Gate in San Francisco are illustrated, based on the art of Hilary Knight. What a sweeping romp across the United States.
 
Amelia Bedelia Hits the Trail  by Herman Parish
 
Participating in a school hike in Amelia Bedelia Hits the Trail by Herman Parish, Amelia Bedelia introduces us to newly discovered words and phrases in addition to the pleasant distractions of hiking. She finally brings back a living, surprising collectible for the school nature table.

CityBlock by Christopher Franceschelli

CityBlock by Christopher Franceschelli is a board book with a difference. It lusciously celebrates a trip to the city using visual spreads that present a variety of page cutouts, a black kitten waiting for recognition by an observant reader's eyes, and a multi-ethnic, multi-generational cast of three travelers. Three typical questions, posed before any upcoming trip are illustrated, then we see the answers: how will we get around, what do we do there and finally, what should we eat? 

Follow That Map! A First Book of Mapping Skills by Scot Ritchie

Whether or not your family depends on an updated Global Positioning System for getting about on your holiday trip, introducing youngsters to map literacy skills may be useful and appreciated. Scot Ritchie, in Follow That Map! A First Book of Mapping Skills, offers interactive tasks to teach map reading. Its 30 heavily illustrated pages pack adventures for five children, a dog and a cat, and at the end, encourages the reader to create a map of their own.

Dodsworth in Tokyo by Tim Egan

Humor often accompanies the traveler with a pet, especially a sometimes unpredictable duck.  Find the hilarity in these simple chapter books, as the duck upsets the koi carp, for example, in Dodsworth in Tokyo.  Other titles in Tim Egan's series of grin-inducing tales are Dodsworth in Paris, Dodsworth in Rome and Dodsworth in London.