cover image A Ticket Around the World

A Ticket Around the World

Natalia Diaz and Melissa Owens, illus. by Kim Smith. Owlkids (PGW, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-77147-051-3

An unnamed boy with a mop of chestnut brown hair visits friends in 13 countries, offering readers a world tour via his first-person narration as he samples foods, views landmarks, and attends cultural events, among other activities. Diaz and Owens supplement the boy’s descriptions with introductions to each nation (“Jordan is ruled by a monarchy, which means that the king or queen in charge makes important decisions for the country”) and sidebars. In Brazil, the boy and a girl named Fernanda canoe down the Amazon River; in China, he celebrates the Chinese New Year with his friend Xiao’s family; and he swims at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia with an aboriginal boy, Joe. Smith’s digital cartoons create a cozy atmosphere and, because the boy is never identified by name or native country, the book can easily appeal beyond an American readership. Ages 5–8. (Mar.)