ABOUT THE BOOK

G’day! How ya goin’?

Mission to Australia is the debut book of the Travel Rangers series. Travel to the Land Down Under with a merry team of diverse kids and incredible augmented reality (AR) technology.

  • Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef
  • Climb all 1,332 steps of the Sydney Harbor Bridge
  • Get up close and personal with koalas, wombats, camels and more!

This beautiful picture book (illustrated by Sonia Sengupta) truly takes children on an adventure to learn the culture and language of Australia. From fun phrases and small differences like driving on the left to national sports seldom played in the U.S., Mission to Australia transports readers. The AR technology, created by ARtscapes, brings pages to life and creates an immersive experience the entire family will enjoy – a bit of armchair travel, mate. Just download the free app via the QR code on the cover, and scan the designated pages for a digital pop-up of both 3D creations and a real-life video background you can spend hours exploring.

A nationwide survey of more than 1,000 Americans found 77% would consider using augmented or virtual reality to travel somewhere new or experience new things from home. So while you plan your first big post-pandemic trip abroad, enjoy the next best way to travel on the pages of Mission to Australia with the Travel Rangers team!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erika Bud is the author of Travel Rangers, a children’s book series that embraces kids discovering new cultures and traveling the world, as well as the host of the Planes, Trains & Kids Abroad podcast. She hopes to ignite a passion for travel in both children and their adults. Her mission is to spread enthusiasm for learning about the fascinating cultures, diverse perspectives, and wonderful people throughout the world and to inspire families to travel abroad. Erika, a mother herself, wholeheartedly believes that exposure to different cultures and perspectives help make our world a more accepting and happier place. 

Though she earned a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of Southern California, Erika has always known that she wants to help people. She discovered her passions for volunteering and international travel at a young age. During her trips overseas when she was 18 years old, she worked as an au pair (a household and childcare assistant living with a host family in a foreign country). Since then, Erika has traveled to over 30 countries, living in both Madrid, Spain (3 months) and Canberra, Australia (3 years).

No matter where she goes, she loves eating new foods, learning about the history of the country, seeing remarkable architecture and historic sites, and getting to know interesting people. Erika has begun sharing her passion with her son, Hayden. At just 5 years old, he already has two stamps in his passport.

TALKING POINTS

  • Australia just recently opened back up for traveling; get inspired for your visit to Oz
  • Celebrate Australia Day (Jan 26) by learning more about the country in a new way
  • Inspire kids to get involved in planning your next trip; Jan 31 is National Plan Your Vacation Day
  • Countless reasons to bring your child(ren) on overseas adventures: experiencing new cultures, learning new languages, meeting new people, trying new foods…
  • “It’s not wrong, just different” – Benefits of exposing children to foreign cultures
  • Advice for planning a trip, especially in the post-pandemic world
  • A checklist of things to know or pack on a family adventure
  • Travelling as an au pair – What it is exactly and why you should consider it
  • Next Stop: Ireland (Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!) – Travel Rangers is a burgeoning series

TIMELY TIE-INS

November

  • National Picture Book Month
  • 1 – National Family Literacy Day
  • 15 – I Love to Write Day
  • 13-19 – Pursuit of Happiness Week
  • 14-18 – National Young Readers Week
  • 20-26 – National Family Week

December

  • National Write a Friend Month
  • Read a New Book Month
  • 4 – World Wildlife Conservation Day
  • 27 – Visit the Zoo Day

January

  • 1-7 – New Year’s Resolution Week
  • 2 – Motivation & Inspiration Day
  • 4 – Trivia Day
  • 15-21 – Hunt for Happiness Week
  • 26 – Australia Day
  • 27 – Library Shelfie Day
  • 31 – Plan for Vacation Day

February

  • National Library Lovers Month
  • 1-7 – Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week
  • 6-12 – Children’s Mental Health Week
  • 4 – Take Your Child to the Library Day
  • 14 – International Book Giving Day

Spring & Summer

  • National March into Literacy Month (March)
  • March 14 – Canberra Day (regional Australian celebration)
  • May 7-13 – National Travel & Tourism Week
  • August 12 – Thoughtful Traveler Day
  • Summer reading

PRAISE FOR TRAVEL RANGERS

“Take it from me, an expat Aussie living in Canada: Travel Rangers: Mission to Australia by Erika Bud is ‘bonza’! …an Australian word for terrific, a most appropriate word to describe the content, colors, presentation, and experience youngsters will enjoy as they turn the pages… This book is the first of a series designed to help primary school children learn about countries other than their own. To my surprise, even this old ex-pat learned something she didn’t know about her homeland… Erika Bud has found a superb way to help youngsters learn about other countries, especially with the inclusion of AR technology (a downloadable app) and lesson plans for teachers.” —Viga Boland, Readers’ Favorite

“The book does a great job of highlighting the uniqueness of Australia while giving kids the opportunity to connect what they are discovering to their own lives. It is a great way to introduce readers to new places!” —Erin R., Library Media Specialist

“The wording and story line were short and sweet but covered such a big span of facts about Australia. This is definitely perfect for the K-2 level!” —Anna M., TK/Kindergarten teacher

“The story and illustrations are engaging and educational. The lesson plans align perfectly with CCSS and would be easy to integrate into an ELA lesson or series of lessons.” —Alexandria G., second grade teacher

“A beautifully written treasure! It taught us all something new, and now my kids can’t wait to visit Australia. It’s so hard to find good books that are age-appropriate, a little educational, and engage my kids’ attention. Mission to Australia has all that and more! It should definitely be a part of every child’s book collection.” —Lisl B., parent of 9- and 7-year-olds

“Engaging. Innovative. Educational. We want more! My son is 10 and at a stage where reading books with Mom is not a cool activity anymore. This book changed that. We spent such great quality time exploring, learning, and being completely immersed in another world without leaving our home. The book really brings the experiences to life and has ignited a travel request from my son which I’m happy to oblige… I love the inclusivity and diversity in the book – not just the characters but the adventures, the translation of cultural aspects of Australia, and the inclusion of parts of the book where the children are involved regardless of their physical abilities. This is a hit and we can’t wait for more to come out. I am recommending this to all of friends with children. Heck, as an adult I’d love this book on my own.” —Christen, 5-star Amazon review