Books are a passion of mine, and if I had to choose one genre that is my absolute favorite, it’s children’s literature. Children’s books can be enjoyed by everyone from the babies and toddlers who drool all over the pages to the grown adults who can gain real life lessons, inspiration, and joy from the story.
As an elementary and special educator with a master’s in literacy, you can probably guess I’ve got quite a collection of picture books, and now that I’m staying at home with Bergen (2 years old), the collecting doesn’t stop, it takes on even more meaning, though our weekly trips to the library help curb this obsession a bit.
Here are my top choices (there are SO many more!), in no particular order, for books to get those adventure juices flowing, get kids excited about travel, and be transported via the wonderful world of literature! I can’t speak for all kids, but I feel pretty safe in saying that all of my choices are quick and fast-paced enough (without a ton of writing on each page) to be enjoyed by all ages.
My Map Book
by Sara Fanelli
Trust me. After you read this you’ll want to create your own maps of all kinds of things, and depending on age, your kids will too! The visual representation each map provides, from the real (my bedroom) to the abstract (my heart), is comforting, fascinating, and just so pleasing to create.
by Barbara Cooney
Everyone should want to live like Miss Rumphius. She had three goals for her life : To travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and to make the world more beautiful. Okay, maybe not everyone wants to live by sea (or do they?), but the other two are for sure.
On the Same Day in March
by Marilyn Singer
Talk about Wanderlust. The book takes the reader through locales all over the world showing just how different the weather and conditions can be “on the same day in March”. Every time I turn the page, I want to jump right in and become a part of the scene. There are so many discussion starters that can come from each page too, from the types of clothing choices, to the plant and animal life, even the buildings and structures (or lack there of).
Where Are You Going, Manyoni?
by Catherine Stock
Follow little Manyoni as she sets off from her home to an unknown place–you’ll have to read to find out! The watercolor illustrations allow the reader to go on the journey right along side the young girl learning about Zimbabwe’s landscape, animals and customs along the way. At the end, the author also gives a glossary of unfamiliar words, and a 2-page key of all the animals shown throughout the book.
All the World
by Liz Garton Scanlan
“Everything you hear, smell, see
All the world is everything
Everything is you and me…”,
The story is actually a poem, and to say I love Marla Frazee’s watercolor illustrations is an understatement. I’m always left with a sense of wonder about the world and our connection to it, but at the same time gain a whole lot of perspective for what’s important.
Me on the Map
by Joan Sweeney
I’m fascinated by maps, and I love how this book strives to teach kids a sense of their place in the world all the way from their room to the entire earth (and back again). I think it also fosters important feelings of pride for where you live, right down to your street! I see that pride leading to stewardship and protecting their special place in the world.
by Donald Crews
Readers not only get to travel back in time to Donald Crews’ childhood, but they also get to travel by train down to Florida, and experience what summer was like for him as a child.
The Relatives Came
by Cynthia Rylant
Ready to get kids excited for a road trip? Or excited for relatives to come visit? I love Cynthia Rylant’s descriptive language making you feel like you are one of the family!
by Jane Yolen
Have you even been owling? You’re going to want to go or your love for the pastime will grow even more after reading Owl Moon. A bonus for me is that the book highlights an amazing nighttime outdoor adventure—something that seems rare these days as the parks we visit on our evening walks are deserted even though it’s only 5pm!
The Salamander Room
by Anne Mazer
Has a little one in your life ever requested to bring home a critter? Dive into the fantasy that the little main character creates by imagining what his room would have to become in order to accommodate a salamander. And what do you think kids are going to want to do after reading this? Go outside!
Have you read any of these book choices? What are your favorites for junior adventurers and wanderlusters?
Many of these titles can be found at your local public library. If you are interested in purchasing, all are available through the Wild Tales of…Travel and Adventure Store. Check out our Children’s Book section!
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