An imaginative fourth-grader dreams of flying a plane to Japan with her family, while the family dog has his own secret adventures abroad.
Shelly Gee, an astute young girl at the prestigious Young Achievers Academy, daydreams of becoming a pilot and flying around the world. When her mother and sister suggest that the family travel during their two-week holiday, Shelly is ecstatic. Upon Shelly’s eager proposal, the family decides on Japan as their destination, and they begin preparations for their trip by visiting a local travel agent. Shelly pours over literature about Japan’s food, monetary system, culture and traditions. Meanwhile, Snickers, the family dog, plots how he’ll stow away on the trip. That night, Shelly dreams of flying the family first class to Japan. When they arrive, the family learns about local culture and customs from their friendly guide, Mr. Suzuki, and they partake in various tourist activities including visiting Mount Fuji, visiting the pearl museum and riding the famous bullet train. Gaitlin’s colorful descriptions will help young readers feel that they’re part of the family’s educational journey and Snickers’ own mischievous adventures, unbeknownst to the rest of the family. Shelly’s entertaining, imaginative travels are further enhanced by Reid’s simple, black-and-white illustrations, which appear every three pages or so; more regular placement of the illustrations alongside Gatlin’s clear, easily understandable writing would have aided a beginning reader’s comprehension of the text. Chapters are long enough to be engaging but short enough for young readers to keep up, and Snickers’ storyline will certainly bring the laughs.
An amusing educational story to help kids see the Land of the Rising Sun.