Meridien Travels the World

Children - Animals
129 Pages
Reviewed on 10/25/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Claire’s great love of both horses and of travel started when she was a child.

The theme of her tenth birthday party was a trip around the world. Her parents recreated the inside of a plane in their house - with a makeshift cockpit of cardboard boxes and Christmas lights. From their transformed sitting room, Claire and her friends were transported to all the continents of the world, stopping to take in the sights of many different countries. It was an incredible experience that her friends still remember today. It certainly made a mark on Claire, spurring on her enthusiasm to see the world.

Through her career as a lawyer, she has been lucky enough to be able to combine her love of horses and travel. She has always wanted to share her globetrotting experiences in the hope of inspiring others, especially children, to want to explore the world and go off on their own globe trot - with or without a horse!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Daniel D Staats for Readers' Favorite

Based on true adventures by attorney Claire Wilby, Globetrotter: Meridien Travels the World is based on her own travels with her horse. This is a delightful children’s book that takes place across two continents and several countries. Meridien is a jumper and goes to various events in Europe and the Middle East. Along the way, children are exposed to the language and culture of the different countries. The text is punctuated with beautiful illustrations by Antony Wootten. He draws in a style that children and adults will be drawn to. The reader cannot help but fall in love with Meridien and his friend Charlie. Together, they form a winning team and at the same time win the hearts of the young and young at heart.

Claire Wilby has authored Globetrotter: Meridien Travels the World to share her love of horses and world travel. Claire’s goal is to transfer those two loves to her readers. I believe she has accomplished her goal and that children who read this book or have it read to them will fall in love with the horse and the adventures. Parents need to take advantage of this book and discuss the information provided by Meridien’s travels. They can help their children learn about different cultures and languages. They can teach their children that people are more alike than different. This book can influence peace in the world. Claire writes clearly and simply. She is from England, so some of the words and spellings may seem strange to Americans, but I think even young readers will have no trouble understanding them.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

There is a special bond between a girl and her horse. When Charlie first met Meridien, she knew he was the horse for her. Well mannered and trained as an equestrian champion showjumper, Meridien felt the bond, too. Born in France, Meridien spent his early life in the heat of the Arabian deserts. His owner took him on various adventures to show jump. When Charlie took possession of this sweet and talented horse, the two continued their travels and adventures, but one thing Charlie always loved most was fresh dates. There were other treats he enjoyed, too, but his love of dates was so well known even the Queen arranged a special treat of dates for this much-loved horse. Although not born to royalty, Meridien enjoyed the luxury of living in palaces around the world.

Claire Wilby’s early chapter reader, Globetrotter: Meridien Travels the World, is an easy read for early readers to improve their reading skills. Interspersed with delightful line drawings, which remind me of another popular series of children’s horse stories, Clarence William Anderson’s Billy and Blaze series (1936), these drawings help add another dimension to the story and will certainly make the reader fall in love with Meridien. The plot follows Meridien’s life from birth to a life of travel and fame as a champion show jumper. The special part of this story is the bond between Charlie and Meridien, which is much like the bond between Billy and Blaze. The two understand each other implicitly, which leaves the young reader with a heartwarming sense of the special bond that exists between humans and horses (or dogs, cats, etc.). The story is based on a real horse’s journey through life and around the world. With a touch of humor and a whole lot of love, this story will definitely appeal to middle grade readers.

Joe Wisinski

Globetrotter: Meridien Travels the World by Claire Wilby is the story of a horse who gets to see many different countries and experience their cultures. The book is based on a real horse’s travels. Meridien was born in France, but he traveled to Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, England, The Netherlands, Austria, and Germany. He also experiences travel by air and sea. Along the way, he meets the King of Orange (in the Netherlands) and the Queen of England. Meridian’s experiences showcase more than the country’s geography. He also learns the culture in each place he visits. When Meridian visits a country for the first time, the book tells readers how to say “hello,” or a similar expression, in that country’s language. Additionally, an appendix contains a complete list of greetings. Another appendix contains the definitions of common horse terminology.

A reader doesn’t need to be a horse lover to delight in Globetrotter. I enjoyed following Meridien’s travels, wondering where he’d end up next, what his adventure would be, and what I would learn about the culture in that country. I also enjoyed learning how to say “hello” in the language from each country Meridien visited. The complete list of greetings in the appendix is helpful for those who want a handy reference. Although the book is intended for 8-to 12-year-old children, anyone of any age will enjoy reading about the travels of Meridien. Author Claire Wilby’s affection for horses shows through on every page. The illustrations by Antony Wootten are beautiful and fit the story perfectly. I recommend this charming book to anyone.