"ISABELLA: Girl on the Go," by Jennifer Fosberry, pictures by Mike Litwin, Sourcebooks, $16.99 (ages 4-8)
The creators of "My Name is Not Alexander" and "My Name is Not Isabella" bring Isabella back with dreams as big as the world. An imagination that far-reaching means the sandbox isn't simply a play corner in the yard; Isabella becomes an archeologist searching in "the hottest, driest desert for the tomb of a king."
Helping father paint the fence is a menial task compared to becoming a warrior, "building the longest, strongest wall to protect my people."
Isabella pretends to be a queen inspecting the pendulum of Big Ben as she sits on her tire swing then becomes the Statue of Liberty, the "brightest, lightest beacon of hope" when she carries the flashlight after dark. Though Isabella has worldwide adventures she decides the most wonderful place is "our home."
There are safe and secure factors throughout Isabella's explorations. She is accompanied by a tattered, button-eyed mouse that enjoys the travel (even dresses each part) as well as a supportive father who furthers the girl on the go with "Your Majesty, grab the flashlight and light the path for us," and "Isabella, where are we headed now? The Taj Mahal?"
To provide further information about Isabella's travels to the Pyramids of Giza, Chichen Itza, the Great Wall of China and others, Jennifer Fosberry has included two pages titled "structures that amaze and inspire." There's even a spot for readers to add a picture of their own most wonderful place, their house.
Mike Litwin's stylized art extends the simple text and provides energy and humor to Isabella's familiar yard, sandbox, swing, tree house and garden, which will encourage younger readers to make their own dreams and travels in their own ways.
Fosberry will be visiting McGillis School and Canyon Rim Academy this week.