Armchair Explorations | Landmarks and Locations Series Nonfiction

This season’s series introduce readers to new places and people all around the world. Every title includes text suited for the age group, along with colorful photographs to encourage learning without overwhelming readers.

This season’s series introduce readers to new places and people all around the world. Every title includes text suited for the age group, along with colorful photographs to encourage learning without overwhelming readers. Most titles offer armchair exploration of other countries, landscapes, and day-to-day life, allowing readers to easily compare and contrast their own experiences. Many of the series are augment understanding of people throughout the world with supplemental content, such as hands-on activities and further reading. Below are nine series that will engage readers and fuel their curiosity of lands near and far.



Ferrara, Jeannette. Lunch Around the World. ISBN 9781338768671.
Herrington, Lisa. Desserts Around the World. ISBN 9781338768763.
––––. Homes Around the World. ISBN 9781338768640.
Maloney, Brenna. Pets Around the World. ISBN 9781338768732.
––––. Schools Around the World. ISBN 9781338768565.
Perritano, John. Games Around the World. ISBN 9781338768701.
ea vol: 32p. (Around the World). Scholastic/Children’s Press. Sept. 2021. Tr. $28.00
Gr 2-4 –This series describes various aspects of modern life around the world. Titles have roughly four chapters with slightly longer paragraphs that have vocabulary words in bold and corresponding photographs, both full pages and collaged, that are captioned. From the eating habits at lunch, extracurricular activities, family pets, and education, the series allows readers to compare and contrast life in another country. Final sections of each title include an, “If you lived here…” infographic and “A closer look,” along with a glossary and index at the end. VERDICT A solid introduction for elementary school readers to everyday life around the world.

Grack, Rachel. Arizona. ISBN 9781644873748.
––––. Georgia. ISBN 9781644873816.
––––. Maine. ISBN 9781644873908.
––––. Maryland. ISBN 9781644873915.
––––. Missouri. ISBN 9781644873304.
––––. Nebraska. ISBN 9781644873328.
––––. New Jersey. ISBN 9781644873359.
––––. Virginia. ISBN 9781644873526.
Klepeis, Alicia. Connecticut. ISBN 9781644873786.
––––. Hawaii. ISBN 9781644873823.
––––. Kansas. ISBN 9781644873878.
––––. Kentucky. ISBN 9781644873885.
––––. Montana. ISBN 9781644873311.
––––. New Mexico. ISBN 9781644873366.
––––. New York. ISBN 9781644873373.
––––. Puerto Rico. ISBN 9781644873441.
Leaf, Christina. Wyoming. ISBN 9781644873571.
Oachs, Emily Rose. California. ISBN 9781644873762.
––––. South Carolina. ISBN 9781644873465.
––––. Utah. ISBN 9781644873502.
Perish, Patrick. Alabama. ISBN 9781644873724.
––––. Arkansas. ISBN 9781644873755.
––––. North Dakota. ISBN 9781644873397.
––––. Oregon. ISBN 9781644873427.
––––. Texas. ISBN 9781644873496.
Rathburn, Betsy. Idaho. ISBN 9781644873830.
––––. Indiana. ISBN 9781644873854.
––––. Michigan. ISBN 9781644873939.
––––. Ohio. ISBN 9781644873403.
––––. Rhode Island. ISBN 9781644873458.
––––. South Dakota. ISBN 9781644873472.
––––. West Virginia. ISBN 9781644873557.
Sabelko, Rebecca. Pennsylvania. ISBN 9781644873434.
––––. Washington. ISBN 9781644873533.
Sexton, Colleen. Alaska. ISBN 9781644873731.
––––. Delaware. ISBN 9781644873793.
––––. Florida. ISBN 9781644873809.
––––. Illinois. ISBN 9781644873847.
––––. Mississippi. ISBN 9781644873953.
––––. Nevada. ISBN 9781644873335.
––––. New Hampshire. ISBN 9781644873342.
––––. Oklahoma. ISBN 9781644873410.
––––. Vermont. ISBN 9781644873519.
––––. Washington, D.C. ISBN 9781644873540.
Sommer, Nathan. Colorado. ISBN 9781644873779.
––––. Iowa. ISBN 9781644873861.
––––. Louisiana. ISBN 9781644873892.
––––. Massachusetts. ISBN 9781644873922.
––––. North Carolina. ISBN 9781644873380.
––––. Tennessee. ISBN 9781644873489.
––––. Winsconsin. ISBN 9781644873564.
Zobel, Derek. Minnesota. ISBN 9781644873946.
ea vol: 32p. (State Profiles). Bellwether/Blastoff! Discovery. Aug. 2021. Tr. $27.95.
Gr 2-5 –Each title in this series focuses on a state or territory of the United States of America. Eye-catching photography accompanied by a paragraph or two per section, this series covers major details about each state, including landscape/climate, wildlife, people, entertainment, traditions, and more. Infographics such as maps and charts describe where each state or territory is and the importance of how a population has changed. For example, that the original lands of Ramapough Lenape people covered much of the northeastern United States (New Jersey). Each title includes a time line, a famous person, a popular recipe, local inventions, and key issues in each area, such as climate change in Missouri (Missouri ). Facts are summarized at the end in a quick profile graphic along with a glossary, further reading suggestions, and an index. VERDICT Offers a great overview on each U.S. state, good for school projects.

Hansen, Grace. Alcazar Castle. ISBN 9781098207274.
––––. Bran Castle. ISBN 9781098207281.
––––. Edinburgh Castle. ISBN 9781098207298.
––––. Himeji Castle. ISBN 9781098207304.
––––. Neuschwanstein Castle. ISBN 9781098207311.
––––. Windsor Castle. ISBN 9781098207328.
ea vol: 24p. (Famous Castles). Abdo/Abdo Kids Jumbo. Aug. 2021. Tr. $29.93.
Gr 2-4 –Each title in the series focuses on a famous castle. Starting with the creation of each structure, short paragraphs detail the castle, who resided there, and who can visit it today. Full-page art and photography are featured, and vocabulary words are bolded in a different color. Small infographics and renderings of historical figures are captioned and overlaid on the pictures of the castles. Titles weave the history of the country, people, and culture. The back matter includes a section with additional facts, glossary, index, and online activities for kids. VERDICT A great nonfiction read for elementary readers who enjoy castles around the world.

Hicks, Dwayne. That’s a Canyon! ISBN 9781538263679.
––––. That’s a Mountain! ISBN 9781538263716.
––––. That’s a Plateau! ISBN 9781538263754.
––––. That’s a Valley! ISBN 9781538263792.
––––. Those Are Hills! ISBN 9781538263839.
––––. Those Are Plains! ISBN 9781538263877.
ea vol: 24p. (Let’s Look at Landforms). Gareth Stevens. Aug. 2021. Tr. $22.60.
Gr 2-3 –This series acquaints readers with landforms found on Earth, including canyons, valleys, hills, mountains, plateaus, and plains. Paragraphs with vocabulary in bold have corresponding full-page pictures to highlight key features and information. Giving an overview of how the landforms are naturally created and how people experience the landform helps readers further connect to each topic. In That’s a Canyon, readers discover the power of erosion, and discover that people build cities on plateaus in That’s a Plateau. The back matter includes a glossary, index, and where to find more information. VERDICT An introduction for elementary readers discovering the different landforms found on Earth.

Peterson, Christy. Welcome to Afghanistan with Sesame Street ®. ISBN 9781728424392.
––––. Welcome to Brazil with Sesame Street ®. ISBN 9781728424408.
––––. Welcome to China with Sesame Street ®. ISBN 9781728424378.
––––. Welcome to Germany with Sesame Street ®. ISBN 9781728424385.
––––. Welcome to Israel with Sesame Street ®. ISBN 9781728424415.
––––. Welcome to Mexico with Sesame Street ®. ISBN 9781728424361.
ea vol: 24p. (Sesame Street Friends Around the World). Lerner. Aug. 2021. Tr. $27.99.

K-Gr 2 –Sesame Street characters take readers to meet new friends from around the world in this series. Each title starts with an introduction to caregivers and teachers, followed by a Sesame Street character greeting readers in the native language(s) of the varying countries. Short paragraphs are paired with colorful photographs to describe life in each location, like celebrating carnival in Brazil in Welcome to Brazil with Sesame Street. Infographics include facts or speech bubbles, along with maps to indicate where the country is in the world. Each title expresses the importance of relationships people have with family members and community and shows a popular group activity. There is also a “fast facts” section, glossary, how to learn more, and index at the end. VERDICT An appropriate introduction to other countries for young readers that could be read aloud.

Rodriguez, Alicia. Bank. ISBN 9781427157225.
––––. Doctor’s Office. ISBN 9781427157232.
––––. Farm. ISBN 9781427157249.
––––. Grocery Store. ISBN 9781427157256.
––––. Post Office. ISBN 9781427157263.
––––. Restaurant. ISBN 9781427157270.
ea vol: 16p. (I Spy in My Community). Crabtree/Roots. Jul. 2021. Tr. $22.60.
K-Gr 1 –In this series, titles meant for new readers offer short sentences and simple pictures as an introduction to the places people can go in their community. The text is large and easy to read with key sight words and vocabulary in bold. Simple digital renderings are also used when photos would distract, such as how a check looks when filled out in Bank and what a postmarked envelope looks like in Post Office. People in each place as employees or customers are diverse. Teachers and caregivers are provided questions for before, during, and after reading, along with a sight word list, word count, and page featuring key words. VERDICT A quick and simple introduction to places in a community for new readers.

Rodriguez, Alicia. City. ISBN 9781427159984.
––––. Country. ISBN 9781427159991.
––––. Province. ISBN 9781427160003.
––––. State. ISBN 9781427160010.
––––. Street. ISBN 9781427160027.
––––. Town. ISBN 9781427160034.
ea vol: 16p. (Where Do I Live). Crabtree/Roots. Jul. 2021. Tr. $22.60.
K-Gr 1 –Intended for new readers, the simple sentences accompanied by large photos in this series offer an introduction to the places people can live. Each title shows features of each place, who is in charge, if applicable, a basic map, and what can be found there. For example, a street is a feature of a neighborhood in Street, while a mayor is in charge of a town in Town. To assist teachers and caregivers, there are questions for before, during, and after reading. These connect to the back matter, which highlights sight words and bolded vocabulary. VERDICT A quick introductory read about the places people live for beginning readers.

Spanier, Kristine. Algeria. ISBN 9781645279914.
––––. Austria. ISBN 9781645279945.
––––. Bahrain. ISBN 9781645279976.
––––. Finland. ISBN 9781636900186.
––––. Hungary. ISBN 9781636900025.
––––. Jamaica. ISBN 9781636900056.
––––. Kuwait. ISBN 9781636900087.
––––. Laos. ISBN 9781636900117.
––––. Madagascar. ISBN 9781636900148.
––––. New Zealand. ISBN 9781636900179.
––––. Norway. ISBN 9781636900216.
––––. Panama. ISBN 9781636900247.
––––. United Arab Emirates. ISBN 9781636900278.
ea vol: 24p. (All Around the World). Jump!/Pogo. Aug. 2021. Tr. $26.99.
Gr 2-4 –These titles familiarize readers about each respective country. The books include three chapters roughly six pages long and use full-page photographs and small paragraphs on top in a contrasting color. Chapters cover a wide range, from the climate, landscape, and wildlife to everyday life for the citizens including food, education, entertainment, holidays, and government. There is also a quick facts section with infographics and basic maps for “at a glance” information, along with a glossary, index, and what to read to learn more. Teachers and caregivers are also given guidance and a reading prompt for before, during, and after reading. VERDICT A good introductory series for readers interested in exploring the world or working on a school project.


Upper Elementary to Middle School

Beaucage, Adrienne. Grand Teton. ISBN 9781791138547.
Kissock, Heather. Acadia. ISBN 9781791138486.
––––. Glacier. ISBN 9781791138516.
––––. Olympic. ISBN 9781791138578.
ea vol: 32p. (National Parks). Weigl/AV2 Nonfiction. Aug. 2021. Tr. $29.99.
Gr 5-8 –Each title in the series explores National Parks in the United States. Sections are two pages in total, combined with longer paragraphs that are on brightly colored pages and paired with infographics and photos of each park. All titles include “puzzler” questions with answers and relevant key issues. Each title also briefly discusses the cultural heritage and Native peoples, such as the ancestors of the Blackfoot, Kootenai, Salish, and Pend d’Oreille people who were forced off the land of Glacier National Park ( Glacier). A time line of the land, key issues, vistor attractions, and a big picture perspective give readers a well-rounded overview of each park. While the number of facts could be overwhelming to younger readers, each title has a “what have you learned” section followed by an activity end to encourage critical thinking. VERDICT A well-rounded overview of each national park for middle grade readers.

The majority of these series chronicle landscapes and landmarks throughout the globe. For new readers, “Where Do I Live” (Crabtree/Roots) and “I Spy in My Community” (­Crabtree/Roots) introduce geographical concepts and community spaces, while “­National Parks” (Weigl/AV2 Nonfiction) and “Famous Castles” (Abdo/Abdo Kids Jumbo) present national parks and historical fortresses for more experienced readers. Many beginning readers will recognize familiar characters in “Sesame Street Friends Around the World’’ (Lerner), who serve as tour guides in each new country, while “All Around the World” (Jump!/Pogo) and “State Profiles” (Bellwether/Blastoff! Discovery) provide elementary/middle school readers essential information sans a character chaperone. For younger students looking for a series about how features of Earth’s surface form, “Let’s Look at Landforms” (Gareth Stevens) offers a simple scientific introduction. By connecting shared experiences in “Around the World” (­Scholastic/Children’s Press), readers can juxtapose their daily life with others. ­Although many of the series are for a younger audience, each title is a valuable building block in understanding the world.

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