Tiny Travelers: United States Treasure Quest by Steven Wolfe Pereira and Susie Jaramillo, illustrated by Mei Yee Tan and Abigail Gross. Encantos, 9781945635311, 2021
Format: Board Book
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book(s)? United States Treasure Quest is the latest in an Encantos Tiny Travelers series that is working to introduce kids to the world around them through colorful illustrations, instructional rhyming passages, and an enticing “search-and-find” element for each location. This is a 32 page board book with a wealth of information and so much to see on each page it’s likely kids (and adults!) will notice something new each time they revisit the book.
The United States is undeniably big and diverse but the authors do an excellent job of selecting key locations, events, and peoples to help represent the country as a whole. Primarily children are depicted in illustrations, most of whom have huge smiles as they engage in activities that include celebrating, music-making, farming, site-seeing, and more. Each page spread has a two-stanza poem, a one-sentence “Did You Know?” fact, and a search-and-find prompt. Children may not be familiar with all of the selected vocabulary and will need to rely on context or an adult’s help/research to assist them; to partially help with this the illustrators have included golden sparkles around the named object to “find” on each page. There is also an answer guide in the back along with an additional challenge posed to find a dog on each page. The creators worked well to provide a broad introduction to the United States that’s eye-catching and fun.
Anything you didn’t like about it? The page about Albuquerque, New Mexico uses the term “First Nations” to describe Native Americans. This is a term used for Canadian indigenous peoples and is not used in the United States (I verified this with research as I know terminology is ever-evolving).
Overall, the large amount of content makes this a board book for a slightly older audience of listeners (ages 4+) as a longer attention span will be needed to make it through the entire title. Given the amount of detail on each page, this would do better in most collections if it was published as a regular picture book.
To whom would you recommend this book? This title will best suit children ages 4+ reading one-on-one with a caregiver.
Who should buy this book? Recommended as first purchase if seek-and-find books are popular with your pre-K and early elementary audience.
Where would you shelve it ? Board books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Melissa McCleary, Pembroke Public Library, Pembroke, MA
Date of review: May 16, 2021