Updated: December 4, 2013 6:19AM
I am not a good traveler. I like being home. I get so twitchy if I don’t drive or can’t read or knit.
Yet, I enjoy books about kids and their travels, especially the ones that depend on imagination. “Journey,” by Aaron Becker, lets us join a young lady on a wonderful adventure without any words.
We meet her when she is on her scooter and we watch as she tries to get members of her busy family to join her in an activity — flying a kite, playing soccer — but no one will.
In her room, she takes a red marker and makes a door on the wall. She opens the door and sets out.
We follow her though lots of adventures till she returns home. The illustrations are all in grays and blacks except for the red marker.
Add that to the lack of words and this is an intriguing story to “read.”
A teacher “read” a wordless book to her class one day and when she closed the book, the class said “Read it again!” Enough said.
Amy has decided that she is old enough to go visit Grandma’s house, not only for one night but for three.
We see how she accomplishes this growing up feat in “Amy’s Three Best Things,” brought to us by Philippa Pearce.
We watch as Amy declares her intention and carefully packs her bag. She packs her teddy bear, her pajamas and all the other normal stuff and then she adds three more “best” things.
Amy sets out and she and Grandma have a great time. She falls asleep quickly but wakes up and finds it scary — she misses home.
Then, she remembers her three best things and she gets the first one. It is a little rug she puts by the bed and puts her feet on, just like home.
It takes her on a magical ride home where everything is fine.
The next night, we see the same thing happen with her second thing, a little wooden horse.
The third night it is a little boat to sail through the air.
Her house is dark and empty. When she comes back she cries and cries. She hears voices and her mother is there to get her the next day. All is well.
“Where My Wellies Take Me” is for intermediate-grade girls. Authors Clare and Michael Morpugo bring us this English delight.
Wellies are sturdy rubber boots worn in England for outside activities. We find a fold-out map and then we join Pippa as she tells her aunt she is going “where my wellies take me” and proceeds out the door.
We enter a fabulous scrapbook of pictures and notes of all the things that Pippa sees as she wanders the countryside.
Tombstones, bugs, wildflowers, buildings, fold out poems, farm animals, and on we go.
I particularly love the spread on the oak tree. There is a translucent half page that changes the look of the tree and then a fold-out that shows it in a completely different season.
This is fantastic. It comes in a picture book format but is far from “easy” and should be savored.