Teaching Traveling: Are you seeking multicultural children’s books about traveling the world? Learn here about the gorgeous texts by Nikko M. FungChung! Nikko, tell us about your background, and how you started your book series.
Nikko: Hello! I am a wife and mother of two residing in Allen, TX. I am the author, owner and creator of Anya’s World Adventures Book Series. My family has very strong Caribbean roots, with a number of other cultures sprinkled throughout.
This diversity within our family is one of my major inspirations behind this book series. I wanted to make sure my children had the opportunity to explore every piece of their cultural puzzle as well as the cultures of others.
TT: So great! Tell us more about your books.
N: Anya’s World Adventures is a Children’s Book Series that focuses on introducing children to different countries around the world through the eyes of a child. Each book in the series will give readers insight into how children and their families live, love and play in other countries!
With the help of Anya’s magic globe and a little imagination, children will visit places like Jamaica, Ethiopia, France, Belize, Haiti, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Australia, Cuba and more!
At the end of each adventure, Anya gets souvenir to take home as a reminder of all the fun she had, and readers can collect these awesome and authentic souvenirs at AWABookSeries.com to help keep track of all the wonderful places they have been!
It is my hope that this series will make the world a much smaller place as our little readers/adventurers grow up to be compassionate citizens of the world.
TT: Such a great mission. Tell us more about your own travels.
N: Jamaica is home. I’ve traveled there a countless number of times and recently I’ve had the opportunity to share this wonderful country with my children, Kenneth and Anya. This was the first of many international trips for them and they loved every second.
One of the best things about writing this series is that I am learning just as much as I am teaching. Many of the countries I write about, I have to gather facts from research and stories from people who were born and raised there.
I prefer first-hand accounts because it gives me a better perspective and makes the story that much more interesting and relevant. Traveling with children is a lot of work and takes planning, but I look forward to seeing the world with my family and I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.
The stories in the Anya’s World Adventures Book Series are a great way to prepare children for a big trip. It’s a great way to familiarize them with the destination and get them excited for what lies ahead!
TT: Absolutely! How do you choose the countries you feature in the book series?
N: I started writing these books in 2014, and at that time my goal was to write about countries that aren’t always depicted fairly in the media. Then I started to write about countries that I felt like I didn’t know enough about.
Fast forward to 2016, I had 42 countries written and I was finally able to afford the cost of illustration and publishing. Anya Goes to Jamaica was the first book to be released in this series because it is home, as I mentioned before.
It was a very proud moment for me, but I think I am even more excited about the next few releases; India, China, Ethiopia, Belize, and the Philippines.
TT: Yes! What are your goals for your books?
N: I would love to have Anya’s World Adventures in classrooms around the world. The books, website (The AWA Club), and souvenirs are great interactive learning tools. I also plan to create some educational puzzles, card games and apps so that children can take their adventures with them everywhere they go!
TT: Tell us more about the souvenirs that go with the books.
N: The souvenirs are such a great addition to the book series. I was looking for a way to give back to the countries I write about and visit.
Not only does it add a sense of authenticity for the reader, it’s also an opportunity for me to make an economic contribution to the country I’m writing about. I research and connect with local craftsman and artisans and I purchase items from them to be sold on AWABookSeries.com
I also feature the business owner on the AWA Club pages and all of my social media platforms. For the Anya Goes to Jamaica book, I was blessed with the opportunity to work with Tena Harrison, owner of Pretty Little Things JA. She handmade about 400 anklets and bracelets for this project and I look forward to working with her again in the near future.
TT: Excellent. Where can people find your wonderful books?
Books and souvenirs are available at AWABookSeries.com. Anya’s World Adventures Book Series can also be purchased at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (Note: Any purchases made through the Amazon and B&N affiliate links in this article are affiliates that provide a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
Teachers, Charitable Organizations and Small Bookstores can contact [email protected] for special pricing.
TT: Thanks so much, Nikko! Readers, what questions or comments do you have for this amazing author?
Want another excellent literary suggestion? Check out my review and analysis of the young adult book Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English from Boston who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched TeachingTraveling.com in 2010 to share expert global education resources, and over 1.6 million readers have visited over the past decade. Lillie also runs AroundTheWorld L.com Travel and Life Blog, and DrawingsOf.com for educational cartoons. Do stay in touch via subscribing to her monthly newsletter, and following @WorldLillie on social media!