Tag Archives: Travel

Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey Of His Life

Through a magical conversation with a young girl in a horse-drawn carriage, Hans Christian Andersen tells his life story. “The most wonderful fairytale is life itself.” He was a cobbler’s son who left his town in Denmark, with thirteen coins in his pocket, to go to Copenhagen to seek his fortune. He wanted to be an actor or a dancer, but things did not work out for him. What he really enjoyed was writing. A sheet of paper became his stage. He wrote poems, stories, fairytales, and plays. He traveled around the country meeting people who loved the theatre – people like himself. Hans goes on to tell the girl some of his stories, such as The Flying Trunk, Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, Clumsy Hans, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and The Snow Queen. The sumptuous illustrations use graphic novel elements to tell the story. In the illustrations, there are references to well-known authors of children’s books and some famous children’s book characters, like The Little Prince, Pinocchio, and more. An author’s note tells more about Hans Christian Andersen’s life. mjw
Title: Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey Of His Life
Author: Heinz Janisch
Illustrator
: Maja Kastelic
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books, Inc., New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: German
Translator
: David Henry Wilson
Original Title
: Hans Christian Andersen: Die Reise seines Lebens
Original Publisher
: NordSud Verlag AG> Zurich, Switzerland
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4388-2
Hardcover pages
: 56
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book Biography
Book setting
: Denmark
Author’s ethnicity
: Austrian
Author’s residence
: Vienna
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Born in Slovenia
Awards
: White Ravens Award – Illustrator
Subjects
: Biography, Denmark, European history, Fairytales, Literary biography

Welcome To Nowhere

Twelve-year-old Omar lives in Bosra, Syria with his family.  He dreams of being a businessman and his sister wants to be a teacher. Their hopes are shattered when  war breaks out. The family is forced to flee Syria by foot to get to Jordan. This is a moving and sensitive novel with lovable characters. A Letter from the Author provides more information about the war in Syria. Also included is a section What Can You DoTo Help? that tells about the Hope School in Jordan. mjw
Title: Welcome To Nowhere
Author: Elizabeth Laird
Illustrator
: Lucy Eldridge
Publisher
: Macmillan Children’s Books
Copyright
: 22017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5098-44047-2
Paperback pages
: 329
Age range
: 9-11
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Syria, Jordan
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in new Zealand of Scottish parents
Author’s residence
: Britain
Awards
: Winner of the UKLA Book Award
Subjects
: Cerebral Palsy, Homelessness, Middle East, Poverty, Refugees, Syria

Letters From Bear

Bird migrates south for the winter and Bear takes a long journey to find her. Bear writes letters to record her adventures. The letters recount a trip into the scary woods, being rescued by a mermaid, escaping a battle between two human armies, a squirrel’s birthday party, and much more.  Bear finally reaches her destination only to find that Bird never received the letters.  Bird didn’t want to be separated from Bear, so she headed back north.  Bird’s friends devise a plan for the friends to be reunited. Rich paintings illustrate Bear’s adventure. mjw
Title: Letters from Bear
Author: Gauthier David
Illustrator
: Marie Caudry
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Sarah Ardizzone
Original Title
: Les lettres de L’ourse
Original Publisher
: Autrement, Belgium
Original Copyright
: 2012
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5536-7
Hardcover pages
: 56
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: Drome, France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: Drome, France
Subjects
: Birds, Bears, Desert, Forest, Letter writing, Mountains, Oceans, Seas, Seasons, Volcanoes

I Dream Of A Journey

The hotel keeper tells about the people (animal characters) from all over the world who come to stay in his small, but cozy hotel. They tell stories of places he has never seen.  He goes to bed at night and dreams of far, far away places.  He sets off on his dream journey with a big suitcase, boards a plane, and roams freely wherever he wants. Morning comes and he is still in his little hotel waiting for new guests to arrive.  One day, he just might set off on a journey of his own.  The artwork is rendered in muted color pastels and soft focus. This is a beautiful, quiet book about being curious about the world. mjw
Title: I Dream Of A Journey
Author: Akiko Miyakoshi
Illustrator
: Akiko Miyakoshi
Publisher
: Kids Can Press
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Japanese
Translator
: Cathy Hirano
Original Title
: Boku no Tabi
Original Publisher
: Bronze Publishing, Inc. Tokyo
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-525304-78-1
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: Tokyo
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: Tokyo
Subjects
: Animal characters, Dreams, Hotels, Journeys, New experiences, Postcards, Wanderlust

The Village By The Sea

Thirteen-year-old Lila and her twelve-year-old brother Hari live in a small village called Thul in western India.  They also have two younger sisters.  They live with their mother, who is ill and bed-ridden.  Lila and Hari manage the family because their father is an alcoholic. Their life is hard.  Hari decides he has had enough and leaves for Bombay to find work.  He gets a job in a restaurant and befriends Mr. Panwallah, the watch repairer.  Back home in Thul, a rich family offers to help them and their mother is taken to a hospital for treatment.  And their father turns over a new leaf.  Hari returns to the village with plans to open a repair shop. Together, the whole family starts a small chicken farm. A helpful list of Indian words is included. mjw
Title: The Village By The Sea
Author: Anita Desai
Publisher
: New York Review of Books
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Heinemann. London
Original Copyright
: 1982
ISBN
: 978-1-68137-351-5
Paperback pages
: 263
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Thul and Bombay, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: U.S.A.
Awards
: 1983 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize
Subjects
: Asia, Brothers and sisters, Family life, Family problems, Poverty, Rural life, Siblings

Child Of St. Kilda

Norman John Gilles was one of the last children born on St. Kilda, a group of islands with high cliffs off the Scottish coast.   People lived there for over four thousand years, thriving in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. They survived on sea birds, eggs, and potatoes. There was no crime or need for money.  They had no automobiles.  They trusted and cared for each other. The community came to an abrupt end in 1930 when the remaining St. Kildans begged the British government to evacuate them to the mainland. No one knows what happened. Today, the islands have become a World Heritage Site, recognized for their unique wildlife and vanished culture. The book concludes with a St. Kilda Sketchbook that provides more information and a map.  The stunning images were created by hand using monoprinting techniques. mjw
Title: Child Of St. Kilda
Author: Beth Waters
Illustrator
: Beth Waters
Publisher
: Child’s Play. Auburn, Maine. USA
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-78628-188-3
Hardcover pages
: 64 
Age range
: 4-9
Genre
: Picture Book, Information Book, Nonfiction
Book setting
: Scotland
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: Cambridge, U.K.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s residence
: Cambridge, U.K.
Subjects
: Birds, History, Immigration, Mystery, Storms, Survival

A Grain Of Rice

Thirteen-year-old Yen and her family live in rural Vietnam. A flood destroys their village.  Famine and persecution because they are of Chinese ancestry lead the family to flee from their war-torn homeland after the fall of Saigon.  They become boat people and are eventually rescued by the Malaysian Coast Guard. There is a glossary of Vietnamese words. The story is based on events from the author’s childhood. mjw
Title: A Grain Of Rice
Author: Nhung N. Tran-Davies
Publisher
: Tradewind Books. Vancouver
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-926890-25-8
Paperback pages
: 154
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Vietnam
Author’s ethnicity
: Vietnamese
Author’s residence
: Edmonton, Alberta. Canada 
Subjects
: Famine Food, Persecution, Poverty, Prejudice, Refugees

Maison Rouge: Memories Of A Childhood In War

 

Liliane Leila Juma was sixteen years old when her home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was destroyed by rebel soldiers.  In her memoir, she tells about her life before and after her family was torn apart by militia invasions and civil war.  Through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Leila and her family were able to relocate to Canada.  An introduction gives facts about Congo.  A helpful map of the region is included. mjw
Title: Maison Rouge: Memories Of A Childhood In War
Author: Liliane Leila Juma
Publisher
: Tradewind Books. Vancouver
Copyright: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-926890-30-2
Paperback pages
: 126
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Nonfiction, Information Book, Biography
Book setting
: Congo
Author’s ethnicity
: Congolese
Author’s residence
: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Subjects
: Canada, Civil war, Congo (Democratic Republic), Invasion, Refugees, Social conditions, Survival

Cherry Blossom And Paper Planes

Adin and Dina are best friends.   They live on a farm and share a love of cherries, climbing the trees to eat the fruit, and saving the pits to plant around the village.  When Adin moves to the city, Dina misses him and her summer becomes long and lonely.  Adin is lonely, too, in the city.  Dina’s father takes her to the city to visit Adin.  They climb to a balcony on Adin’s apartment building and fold paper airplanes that can hold the cherry pits.  They send the planes into the air.  After a long winter apart, spring arrives and the blossoming cherry trees seem to provide a trail between the two best friends.  The rich illustrations that are hand-drawn using gouache and pen gently depict the green and yellow village and the city Adin and his mother move to.  This is a sensitive story about the power of friendship. mjw
Title: Cherry Blossom And Paper Planes
Author: Jef Aerts
Illustrator
: Sanne te Loo
Publisher
: Floris Books
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Dutch
Translator
: Polly Lawson
Original Title
: Kersenhemel
Original Publisher
: Em Querido’s Uitgeverij
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-178250-561-7
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Belgian
Author’s residence
: Belgium
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Dutch
Subjects
: Cherry blossoms, Cities, Farms, Paper planes, Farms

Clara The Rhino

Based on a true story, this book is about the friendship between an orphaned rhinoceros from India and a Dutch sea captain in the mid 18thcentury.  Captain Douwe van der Meer decides to take Clara the rhino from India to Holland.  No one in Europe has ever seen a rhino and the Captain is sure that she will be a sensation.  The voyage from India to Holland takes many weeks and Clara eats 100 pounds of hay every day.  She especially likes oranges.   Clara wins the hearts of everyone as she and the Captain travel all over Europe. Her image appears on posters, coins, statuettes, and art in museums.  She finally returns to Holland where the Captain provides Clara a home of her own.  A map shows Clara’s extensive travels through Europe.  Bold, colorful artwork enhances the story.  Another book, Clara: The (Mostly) True Story Of The Rhinoceros Who Dazzled Kings, Inspired Artists, And Won The Hearts Of Everyone…While She Ate Her Way Up And Down A Continent was written by Emily Arnold McCully in 2016. mjw
Title: Clara The Rhino
Author: Katrin Hirt
Illustrator
: Laura Fuchs
Publisher
: North South Books, Inc.
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: German
Translator
: David Henry Wilson
Original Title
: Ein Nashorn namens Clara
Original Publisher
: NordSud Verlag.  Zurich, Switzerland
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4395-0
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: India, Holland, France, Italy
Author’s ethnicity
: German
Author’s residence
: Tubingen, Germany
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: German
Illustrator’s residence
: Hamburg, Germany 
Subjects
: Boats and ships, European history, Netherlands, Rhinoceroses

Panthera Tigris

A highly educated scientist whose knowledge is astounding realizes that he knows nothing about Bengal tigers.  He reads every book about tigers that he can find and concludes that he must travel to the Indian jungle to learn more.  After his long journey, he asks a local hunter to be his guide.  He proceeds to tell the guide all he knows about tigers. He doesn’t stop talking and the guide never gets a word in.  When confronted by a magnificent tiger, the guide climbs the nearest tree and the scientist learns that the guide’s practical experience is best.  The tale is inspired by Swami Prajnanpad, a modern Indian guru and philosopher (1891-1974).  Fine lined drawings splashed with greens, browns, and neon orange complement the humorous text.  They include complicated diagrams and anatomical details. mjw
Title: Panthera Tigris
Author: Sylvain Alzial
Illustrator
: Helene Rajcak
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Vineet Lal and Sarah Ardizzone
Original Title
: Panthera Tigris
Original Publisher
: Rouergue. Paris
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-0-802855299
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: India
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Monaco
Author’s residence
: Paris
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: Paris
Subjects
: Bengal tigers, Humor, Scientific expeditions

A Place To Belong

World War II is over and Hanako and her family – her father, her mother, and little brother Akira – are moving to Japan.  They have been in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans in America.  They have renounced their citizenship so they can leave the camp and return to Japan to live with Hanako’s grandparents on a tenant farm outside of Hiroshima.  They barely survive.  Hanako struggles to fit in as an outsider in her new home.  This is a moving book interspersed with black and white drawings. mjw
Title: A Place To Belong
Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Illustrator
: Julia Kuo
Publisher
: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-1-481446648
Hardcover pages
: 416
Age range
: 10-14
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Hiroshima, Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: California, U.S.
Subjects
: Emigration and immigration, Hiroshima, Multigenerational family life, Japan, Japan history 1945