As every reader knows, the most convenient, inexpensive, and thrilling way to travel the world is through the pages of a book. Being stuck at home doesn’t have to be an adventure-less experience when readers have the right stories with them! See the sights, gain new perspectives, and experience the whole world with any one of our hand-picked picture books and chapter books. India, Mexico, Japan, and more are all ready to explore. Bon voyage!

Monsoon Afternoon PB

Monsoon Afternoon (India)
by Kashmira Sheth
illustrated by Yoshiko Jaeggi

It is monsoon season in India, and a young boy and his dadaji (grandfather) are heading out into the rainy weather to sail paper boats and watch the peacocks dance in the rain, just as Dadaji did when he was young. When the two return home, hot tea and a loving family are waiting. This affectionate, sensitive story provides a look into Indian life and the shared moments and memories that bind generations together. The fanciful watercolor illustrations recreate the lush Indian landscape during monsoon season, and capture the bond of love that unites a grandfather and his grandson.

Away with Words

Away with Words: The Daring Story of Isabella Bird (Around the World)
by Lori Mortensen
illustrated by Kristy Caldwell

“Isabella Bird was like a wild vine stuck in a too-small pot,” but exploring was easier said than done in Victorian England. Isabella persisted, and with each journey, she discovered new ways to describe everything around her. Question by question, word by word, Isabella bloomed. First, out in the English countryside. And eventually, around the world, to Africa, Asia, Australia, and more. This dashing picture book biography about the first female member of the Royal Geographical Society takes readers around the world with a daring nineteenth-century female explorer and author.

King of the Tightrope

King of the Tightrope: When the Great Blondin Ruled Niagara (Niagara Falls)
by Donna Janell Bowman
illustrated by Adam Gustavson

At the age of four, Jean-Francois Gravelet walked across his first balance beam. Later, he took to the tightrope, and he climbed toward stardom. As The Great Blondin, his feats became more and more marvelous, but he was bored. That is, until he visited Niagara Falls and imagined doing something that no one else had ever accomplished. It would take courage to cross the falls, but in 1859, Blondin would step out onto the most dangerous tightrope walk he’d ever faced. This detailed picture book biography gives readers a detailed and exciting look into the hard work, determination, and meticulous mathematic and scientific planning it took to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

Keep On

Keep On!: The Story of Matthew Henson, Co-Discoverer of the North Pole (The North Pole)
by Deborah Hopkinson
illustrated by Stephen Alcorn

Matthew Henson was born just after the Civil War, a time when slavery had been abolished, but few opportunities were available for black people. As a child, Henson exhibited a yearning to explore, but his greatest adventure began in 1909 when Admiral Robert Peary invited him to join an expedition to the North Pole. After many storms, injuries, and unimaginable cold, on April 1, Peary, Henson, and four Inuit men began the final 133-mile push to the Pole. This stunning picture book biography pays tribute to a great but under-recognized figure from America’s past.

I Am Tama Lucky Cat

I Am Tama, Lucky Cat (Japan)
by Wendy Henrichs
illustrated by Yoshiko Jaeggi

Under the shadow of the white-capped mountains of Japan, a kind and gentle monk takes in a white cat with unusual markings and names him Tama. Tama truly earns his nickname―“Lucky Cat,” when during a powerful thunderstorm, he saves a warlord from a large branch crashing to the ground. In gratitude to Tama, the warlord lavishes gifts on the monk’s poor temple. Based on one of the legends of Maneki Neko―“beckoning cat,” this beautiful story of friendship, generosity, and kindness features breathtaking watercolor illustrations.

It Cant Be Done Nellie Bly

It Can’t Be Done, Nellie Bly: A Reporter’s Race Around the World (Around the World)
by Nancy Butcher
illustrated by Jen Singh

Nellie Bly was a newspaper reporter for The New York World, but instead of writing about “ladylike” subjects like tea parties and charity balls, she wrote about social problems like poor job conditions, dilapidated housing, and dishonest politicians. If someone told her “It can’t be done, Nellie Bly,” she went right ahead and did it anyway. But when Nellie read Jules Verne’s novel, Around the World in Eighty Days, she was inspired to circle the globe even faster herself. Did the plucky young reporter go too far? This delightful true story of a woman with an indomitable spirit will inspire a new generation of young readers―and adventurers.


Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle PB

Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle (Around the World)
by Ruth Ashby

In 1831, young adventurer and nature enthusiast Charles Darwin set sail on a remarkable five-year voyage that changed the study of biology forever. This lively account follows the naturalist’s exciting trip around the world as he meets indigenous peoples and carefully collects and catalogs plants, fossils, birds, mammals, and insects. Darwin’s observations of the distribution and diversity of plant and animal life ultimately leads to the development of his theories on evolution. Readers will be inspired by Darwin’s transformation into a remarkable scientist as they read about the revolutionary voyage of the Beagle.

The Cheshire Cheese Cat HC

The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale (London)
by Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright
illustrated by Barry Moser

Skilley, an alley cat with an embarrassing secret, longs to escape his street-cat life and trade London’s damp alleyways for the warmth of ye olde Cheshire Cheese Inn. So, he strikes a bargain with an erudite mouse named Pip and begins protecting the mice who live at the inn in exchange for the thing Skilley desires most. But when Skilley and Pip face a crisis of monumental proportions, their new friendship is pushed to its limits. The escalating crisis threatens the peace not only of the Cheshire Cheese Inn but also the British Monarchy! This compelling and playful homage to Charles Dickens features charming characters and important themes of friendship and loyalty.

Truth and Salsa PB

Truth and Salsa (Mexico)
by Linda Lowery

Almost-thirteen-year-old Hayley Flynn is spending six months with her eccentric grandmother in the rural mountain town of San Miguel while her recently separated parents work things out. For Haley, life in Mexico is surprisingly exciting, but there are also difficult lessons to be learned about poverty and unemployment. And meanwhile, Hayley is on the lookout for la fantasma (the ghost) that is said to haunt her grandma’s house. This affectionate portrait of a small town in Mexico features a warm, humorous story of self-discovery and a relatable protagonist who will have readers captivated on every page.