Tilmund’s Travel Tales

Guba. Nov. 2020. 42p. Tr $18. ISBN 9781946747181.
Gr 2-4–Although his grandfather has traveled the world, Tilmund is too scared to leave the comfort of his house, where he is surrounded by mementos, artifacts, and tchotchkes from his grandfather’s globe-trotting adventures. A bite from the Travel Bug—a literal insect with wings, six legs, fangs, and a blond beard—cures Tilmund of his fears. He travels the world and safely returns home with his own souvenirs and photos from his journey. Tilmund, with the same brown skin as his grandfather, has a small, happy face, and the world depicted in this book feels colorful and inviting. The typeface is clear and appealing, while the endpapers chart Tilmund’s travels on a map. While the visual composition of the book is stunning, the text lacks elegance. It isn’t immediately evident that it’s supposed to rhyme. The fact that Tilmund’s worries are cured by a magical insect bite that bestows courage feels like a dismissive simplification of fear and anxiety. The book depicts travel not as a way to engage with and learn about different cultures but instead as a means of collecting souvenirs and passport stamps.
VERDICT An additional purchase, perhaps as a reminder of what global travel once was, but with a caveat: The back matter prompts children to write their travel dreams into the book.

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