If you're looking for an adventure without ever having to leave the comfort of your reading nook - look no further than this brilli...

Around the World in Books

Friday, November 02, 2018 BookBairn 4 Comments

If you're looking for an adventure without ever having to leave the comfort of your reading nook - look no further than this brilliant new non-fiction that will tell you all about life all around the world! We have spent the last few months collecting and collating, buying, requesting copies from publishers and borrowing from friends and the library to ensure that we have looked at as many book as possible on the theme of helping us understand other cultures and learn more about life in different places all around the world. We love learning about the world!* And here are our favourites:

*It is worth noting that the majority of these books are aimed at children older than BookBairn so if your child is under five, I would say to take caution about picking up too many of these - we enjoy having these sort of books but we don't sit and read them, we tend to pick them up and have a flick through, looking at the illustrations and talking about them because that's more appropriate for BookBairn's age and stage.

Welcome to the World by Moira Butterfield & Harriet Lynas

"We sometimes speak DIFFERENT languages but we ALL talk to each other.
We sometimes wear DIFFERENT clothes but we ALL get dressed.
We sometimes eat DIFFERENT food but we ALL eat."

Welcome to the World by Moira Butterfield & Harriet Lynas is a wonderful celebration of customs and traditions from many different countries around the world. From what classrooms look like in India to Australia or the noises animals make in different countries, or what to do when your tooth falls out in El Salvador or Sri Lanka - you can explore it all in this beautifully illustrated book! All told in child-friendly language and with adorable illustrations bringing to life what it is to be a child in all corners of the world this is a perfect book to dip in and out of with even the youngest readers but is also a wonderful reference text for children who are slightly older. A veritable encyclopedia of life around the world for little readers! 

Around the World in Every Vehicle by Amber Stewart & Duncan Beedie

There is a big wide world out there waiting to be explored and in Around the World in Every Vehicle by Amber Stewart & Duncan Beedie, the Van Go family (adorable red pandas!) are packing up their blue camper van and setting off on the adventure of a lifetime. Let me also say that one of the things we love about this book is that the adventure starts in a "quiet little corner of the world in Scotland" so we can immediately relate to these characters! And from there they travel to London, Paris and across Europe before flying by plane to India and travelling across Asia by train and boat where they fly from Hong Kong to America  travel on to South America back across to Africa and then on to Australia - it's a fairly comprehensive trip. With a narrative style and appealing characters this is a great book for younger readers as they have more of a story to follow and pick up some facts along the way rather than more of the encyclopedia-style books. It's just a lovely alternative. And we love Duncan Beedie's illustrations and he has packed so much in from landmarks, to vehicles, maps, other characters that the Van Gos meet along the way. You really feel like you've been on a round the world adventure after reading this!

Scratch and Discover: World Atlas by Charlotte Trounce

Definitely one of the coolest non-fiction books we’ve seen! Scratch and Discover: World Atlas by Charlotte Trounce  you can travel the world and using the clever scratch and discover patches you can find out more about landmarks and flora and fauna from all over the world. Each page stars a different continent and there is a large globe to scratch and reveal where that continent is as well as 10 different scratch and discover things on each page (the different continents have a different focus - mostly landmarks and animals.) This is a great book for all ages - BookBairn loves it as she likes to find things, older kids would be fascinated by the different facts from all over the globe, and grown ups will find scratching the pages immensely satisfying! The illustrations are wonderful too and the facts are so interesting that I think it will stand the test of time even after it’s all scratched. After you've scratched them it's got a list so that you can use the book as a seek and find. Definitely a fun interactive one!

Around the World: Early Learning at the Museum (The British Museum)

We love this series collaboration between the British Museum and Nosy Crow books. They feature some of the fascinating objects from the British Museum collection and Around the World: Early Learning at the Museum focuses on items and paintings from all around the world. These are a great way for inquisitive little readers to learn about different countries but through fascinating objects that represent a multitude of cultures from around the world and objects that span a timescale from thousand-year old relics to 20th century fashion and old coins to ancient works of sculpture. And these books are primarily photographs (or photographs of artwork) making them more like traditional non-fiction which makes a good balance for your library.

Raise the Flag by Clive Gifford & Tim Bradford

In my experience of teaching, you will find in every class at lease one kid who is utterly fascinated by flags. And Raise the Flag by Clive Gifford & Tim Bradford is the perfect match for them. You will be amazed by the plethora of flag trivia and wowed by weird and wonderful flag features such as dragons, volcanoes and smiley faces as well as fascinated by the stories behind the many different flags from all around the world. Amusing text is accompanied by a mixture of photographs as well as illustrations you will be able to explore all sorts of different facts as well as learning which country is the only one to fly a five-sided flag? You can also learn semaphore! This book has everything and is flying the flag for flag fanatics!

Hello World by Jonathan Litton & L'Atelier Cartographik

The subtitle of Hello World by Jonathan Litton & L'Atelier Cartographik is A Celebration of Languages and Curiosities, and it is just that! Hello is a word that starts friendships. It opens doors. It brings smiles. On the opening pages of this book you are immediately greeted with a beautiful map of the world and 10 translations for the word "hello" (or similar greeting) and in reading them you will be able to greet more than half the people in the world. Working your way through the rest of the book, across each continent. you will be able to say hello to people from around the world. Each word for "hello" is on the top of a flap and underneath is the phonetic spelling (how you pronounce it) as well as the language/country that it comes from and how many people speak that language. The illustrations in this book are truly sensational and I love all the traditional dress that they share. It really does provide "a world of exploration" at little ones fingertips. 

Hello World Animals by Nicola Edwards & L'Atelier Cartographik

"An Amazing Atlas of Wildlife", Hello World Animals by Nicola Edwards & L'Atelier Cartographik will have little readers discovering some of the most incredible creatures on Earth! This book is aimed at older readers but BookBairn enjoys lifting the flaps scattered across each page and have me read about the animals they feature, so it's great for younger readers too. Discover the animals of each continent through the beautifully crafted pages, bitesize facts and stunning illustrations. With over 180 animals to learn about this one will keep kids busy, and fascinated, for hours! 

This is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe

You are invited to follow the lives of seven real children from Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda and Russia for a single day in This is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe. After being introduced to each child, we explore where they live, who they live with, what they wear and many other important parts of their day. There is a strong focus for how they play and what their school is like, as being young children, like your reader, this makes up an important part of their day. The book is well structured with each page divided up into eight parts (one for the heading and one for each child) so that you can directly compare their days, and there's also only short snippets of text to accompany the lovely illustrations making it a fun read. Giving a window into the lives of children that may differ from our own as well as sharing the experiences that are common to us all, this book will certainly inspire children to learn more about the people in the world around us!

Story Worlds: A Moment in Time by Thomas Hegbrook

Do you ever wonder what is happening at this exact moment in time, everywhere around the world? Story Worlds: A Moment in Time by Thomas Hegbrook is an incredibly unique picture atlas whose unique binding create a 360 degree books that allows you to go on a perpetual journey as the day unfolds. Looking at both human life, as well as that of the flora and fauna on different spots around the globe, it will appeal to younger children who might just want to enjoy the spectacular illustrations as well as older children who are ready to learn about time zones. This unique ‘perpetual’ format takes three books in one and takes little ones on a global journey with a difference. This is just brilliant! It’s a beautiful piece of artwork. It’s unique. It’s a commentary on our world. It’s truly incredible.

One Day So Many Ways by Laura Hall & Loris Lora

Discover what life is like for children from around the world in One Day So Many Ways by Laura Hall & Loris Lora. Over the course of a day, little readers can follow children from over 40 different countries and learn all about the similarities and differences in their lives. I adore the retro style of the illustrations and the bold shapes and colours which really help to give the impression that whilst the children all look different, are different colours, were different clothes, their is a strong similarity between them all, which for me conveys a message that we are all alike as much as we are different. 

Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska & Daniel Mizielinski

In some ways Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska & Daniel Mizielinski reminds me of two old jigsaw puzzles I had growing up: one of which showed the globe with animals from all over and the other which featured world landmarks. But this book is the epitomy of illustrations as artwork. Using a muted colour palette and natural tones each page features a country from around the world and highlights some of it's wonderful features from it's wildlife, to landmarks, to agriculture, traditional costume, musical instruments, artists, and notable citizens and historical figures. There is very little text so it is a visual wonder as it conveys so much information through it's clever illustrations. (I love it so much that I've used it as the backdrop for each of these photos in this blog post and whilst this is a library copy, I don't think it will be long before we have a copy of our own!).

There really are some wonderful books to transport your little ones all around the world and help them to learn about different lives and lifestyles across the planet. As a parent I want BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner to look beyond themselves and have a desire to learn and explore people and places that are different from what we have here on our doorstep. It's a passion I want to give them. And the best way to start is through books!

Happy reading and exploring,
Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner 

Disclaimer: Some of these books were borrowed from the library or ones that I was bought myself. I was sent some of these books for  free for review purposes by the publishers. Words and opinions are my own. And I was not obliged to share any of them as part of this or any other blog post - selecting them for review was my choice. Please read our review policy if you want to know more. If you click on the title or image of the book you will be sent to Amazon.co.uk using an affiliate link. This means that if you choose to purchase on Amazon.co.uk, I will receive a small sum (around 20-90p per book) from amazon at no extra cost to you. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our 'For Our Readers' section.

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  1. What another great selection of books.....and, ok, I was that kid, in my class, who was fascinated by flags. I was also very interested in drawing maps. I suspect BookBairn and the Wee Page Turner will be interested in Geography. They certainly love the travels of the Go Jetters on TV.

    1. That they do! I can imagine you knowing all the flags of the world!

  2. I could do with a holiday ;) What a fantastic selection of books, definitely one to get them travelling to new places! #readwithme

    1. Oh me too! Getting a long weekend in London instead!