Aside from reading, traveling is one of the best and most effective ways to diversify one’s perspective of the world and expand one’s horizons… so why not combine the two? Books about other cultures, and about traveling in general, can encourage kids to widen their practical and cultural knowledge, look critically at historical and current contexts, and inspire them to reflect on the world around them. Plus, reading about new and exciting places is fun! Here are some of Cardinal Rule Press’ recommendations to take a trip around the globe through reading:

Nosotros Means Us: Un cuento bilingüe / A bilingual story – Paloma Valdivia

The bond between a mother and child is one that can be seen between humans and animals alike. A sheep and a lamb, a mare and a foal, a mama bear and a cub; nature is full of parents and kids, and as both get older, they change. They spend less time together as the children get older and more independent, but they will always be connected. Nosotros Means Us is a beautiful ode to this universal bond and is told in gorgeous bilingual prose with adorable illustrations. An absolute must-read.

Anansi Goes Fishing – Eric A. Kimmel

In this installment of a five-part series, Eric A. Kimmel writes about the trickster spider of West African and Caribbean legend, Ansansi, and his adventures. Written with all the love and care of the rich oral storytelling history that Ansansi is borne of, Anansi Goes Fishing recounts the tale of the spider’s attempt to get Turtle to fetch food for his rumbling stomach, which of course, goes awry. This story is silly, colorful, and full of laughter.

Madeline – Ludwig Bemelmans

A certified classic, Madeline still holds up more than 75 years later. Madeline’s fearlessness and cheer is inspiring and makes for a joy of a reading experience. Complete with whimsical and time-tested illustrations of Paris, Bemelmans’ beloved children’s book is a perfect way to transport your child to the lights and magic of Europe.

Good Night Australia – Adam Gamble & Mark Jasper

Like all of the places on this list, Australia has no shortage of amazing landmarks, natural wonders, and cultural centers to check out, and there’s no better tour guide than Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper’s board book Good Night Australia, part of the bestselling “Good Night Our World” series. Told as a lullaby, this story explores places like the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Harbour, and Salamanca Market, and is the perfect way to see some of the cool places Australia has to offer!

Chinese Kite Festival – Richard Lo

Another bilingual story, Chinese Kite Festival is a beautiful looking glass into some of the most important elements of Chinese culture, told in English and Chinese lyrics with informative backmatter explaining the symbolism and importance of kite shapes and animals. Lo’s story is both a great way to learn a few animal names in Chinese and enjoy beautiful watercolor-inspired artwork that jumps off the page.

Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters! – Marikka Tamura

Marikka Tamura’s Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters is both an adorably illustrated story about penguins, but also explores issues of climate change, human-made disaster, and the dangers of intervening in natural worlds. A group of penguins are doing their penguin thing when all of a sudden, a great mass of oil spills into the water. When the ‘Big Boots’ come, they bring the penguins sweaters, which seems nice, but they aren’t that helpful because penguins don’t wear sweaters! Cute, smart, and insightful, Tamura’s story takes an important and unique perspective on issues of climate disasters while making such difficult topics accessible through playful language and exciting storytelling.

Matt Popp is a student at the University of Michigan studying English and Psychology. In his free time he loves to write, and he’s extremely passionate about film, queer theory and activism. His inspirations include Toni Morrison, James Baldwin and his cat, Tokey.