Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge

Alyson Beecher over at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts a Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge and has a roundup every Wednesday. I love the encouragement to explore more non-fiction. I am thankful that she has this challenge because I know I have read more nonfiction texts as a result.

A Ticket Around the World by Natalia Diaz and Melissa Owens
Illustrated by Kim Smith
Review copy: Won in a Publisher giveaway at

Goodreads summary: Join a young boy as he hops around the globe, visiting friends in 13 different countries spanning all six populated continents. Along the way, he introduces us to each friend’s environment and customs, and shares interesting facts about each country’s culture, language, food, geography, wildlife, landmarks and more. Each country has a dedicated spread with a small map that shows geography and landmarks, letting readers imagine they are traveling, too. The format makes it easy to spot similarities and differences between countries.

This informational picture book brings engaging nonfiction content to younger readers by showing them how other children just like them live around the world. Playful, realistic illustrations done with stylized realism lend warmth and whimsy to the book, making each locale feel welcoming. A Ticket Around the World will leave readers feeling like they’ve toured the globe without ever having left home.

Countries included: Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Greece, Canada, Brazil, France, Georgia, Botswana, China, Philippines, Australia, United States and Jordan.

My thoughts: This is a fun way to get a feel for people and places around the world. Facts are shared about each country including population figures, language(s), typical foods and events along with other interesting information. I enjoyed seeing many ways people live their lives around the world.

It was interesting to see the greetings in different languages. My favorite part of the book was when the narrator visited the United States. he said, "Hello and buenos dias!" because he is visiting a boy with grandparents who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico. I often get bothered when people stress the idea that the U.S. is, or should be, English only. We have two states now (Alaska and Hawaii) that have more than one official language and we have many people in the U.S. who speak other languages. I love it when a text honors multiple languages in the U.S. and this one certainly does.

I can see a family or classroom reading this and going beyond the text. A class could read the spread about a country and then find it on a globe or Google Earth. They could also ask questions about the countries and look for the answers. It could also be a mentor text and a class could work in groups or individually to create more pages for the book or their own class book. There are many great extensions that are possible.


  1. We just got this book into our library at school - I am very excited to read it! Love your point about multiple languages in the U.S. (same goes for Canada)!

  2. This will be a great book for students to study who are trying to write an informational book about a place. We need more mentor texts that show engaging ways so teach others about places around the world.

  3. Sounds like a fun book! I notice Costa Rica is on the list - I want to go there! My cousin lives there now - seems like a perfect excuse to visit. ;-)