Best Kids Books About Adventure

91+ Kids Books About Adventure

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Tomorrow I'll Be Brave book
#1
Tomorrow I'll Be Brave
Written and illustrated by Jessica Hische
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Tomorrow I'll be all the things I tried to be today- Adventurous, Strong, Smart, Curious, Creative, Confident, & Brave. And if I wasn't one of them, I know that it's OK. Adventure through a world filled with positive and beautifully hand-lettered words of widsom, inspiration, and motivation. As this book reminds readers, tomorrow is another day, full of endless opportunities--all you have to do is decide to make the day yours.

The Worst Princess book
#2
The Worst Princess
Written by Anna Kemp and illustrated by Sara Ogilvie, Anna Kemp
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Bored of your run-of-the-mill princesses? Tired of traditional princess-finds-her-prince tale? Looking for a princess with a bit more bite? Then this is the book for you. Forget about pretty dresses, fairytale wedding and grand balls, Princess Sue is all about adventure, mischief and making unusual friends. She really is the worst princess!

Wolf Won't Bite book
#3
Wolf Won't Bite
Written by Emily Gravett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

can stand him on a stool! I can dress him in a bow... I can ride him like a horse but WOLF WON’T BITE! Come along on a wild circus adventure about three little pigs who have captured a wild wolf. They can make him do all sorts of tricks, but don’t worry—he would NEVER bite. From award-winning and beloved creator Emily Gravett, Wolf Won’t Bite! contains charming text that begs to be read aloud, and quirky humor fills every page of this playful take on “The Three Little Pigs.”

Caterpillar Dreams book
#4
Caterpillar Dreams
Written and illustrated by Clive McFarland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Very Hungry Caterpillar meets Giraffes Can’t Dance in this sweet coming of age story about finding one’s courage. All Henri the Caterpillar has is a dream. It’s an amazing, incredible, impossible dream. And to chase it, Henri will have to leave the safety of his garden and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Written and illustrated by the award-winning creator of A Bed for Bear, Clive McFarland, Caterpillar Dreams is the inspiring story of what can happen when you dare to believe in yourself.

Oh No, Astro! book
#5
Oh No, Astro!
Written by Matt Roeser and illustrated by Brad Woodard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Astro, an asteroid that wants nothing more than for his personal outer space to be respected, is hit by a passing satellite and sent on what turns out to be a great adventure from the asteroid belt to Earth. Includes "space facts."

Edmund Unravels book
#6
Edmund Unravels
Written and illustrated by Andrew Kolb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

This delightful debut picture book celebrates both the joy of venturing into the unknown and the value of staying connected to loved ones back home. It stars a little ball of yarn who can’t resist the tug of adventure, the twists and turns of discovery, or the comfort of family and friends. Edmund is a ball of yarn and a ball of energy! From the time he could roll, he’s been bouncing down his front steps to explore, and his parents have always been right there to reel him in and roll him back up. But now that he’s bigger, Edmund is ready to discover the wonders of the world. Everything is new and exciting—but sometimes, even a little ball of yarn gets lonely, and there’s nothing better than the comfort of being around those he cares about.

Harold and the Purple Crayon book
#7
Harold and the Purple Crayon
Written and illustrated by Crockett Johnson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Essential Picture Book Classics—timeless stories for every child to treasure. "One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight." Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement. Full of funny twists and surprises, this joyful story shows just how far your imagination can take you. Harold and the Purple Crayon has delighted readers of all ages for over fifty years.

Aw, Nuts! book
#8
Aw, Nuts!
Written and illustrated by Rob McClurkan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Squirrel sets off on a chase after the perfect acorn in debut author-illustrator Rob McClurkan's picture book Aw, Nuts! With bold, graphic art, Squirrel will have young readers laughing out loud on every page, eager to find out what will happen next. Squirrel loves acorns, so when he spots the perfect one, he must have it! But it bounces away. . . . So he jumps into a taxi, but the taxi runs out of gas. Aw, nuts! He bounces on a pogo stick, but it lands in a hole. Aw, nuts! He hops on a boat, gets shipped away, hitches a ride on a little girl's bike, and more! Will Squirrel be able to catch up to the most delicious acorn ever?

Harry and Horsie book
#9
Harry and Horsie
Written by Katie Van Camp and illustrated by Lincoln Agnew
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a boy named Harry sneaks out of bed one night with his best friend, Horsie, to play with his Super Duper Bubble Blooper -- an out-of-this-world adventure begins! Illustrated with retro-comic art, this is a charming story about the power of friendship and imagination from a talented new team.

Journey book
#10
Journey
Written and illustrated by Aaron Becker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship. A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt book
#11
Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt
Written by Carrie Clickard and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this rhyming, hilarious romp about a little-known facet of American history, Thomas Jefferson tries to disprove a French theory that those in the New World are puny and wussy by going in search of mammoth bones. In the New World called America big changes were a’brewing. Independence was declared with bold hurrahs and ballyhooing! The French feel threatened by America’s new freedom and confidence, as embodied by Count Buffon who claims that the “New World was a chilly, swampy place, filled with puny, scrawny creatures, every species, breed, and race.” Thomas Jefferson won’t stand his young country being insulted, so he sets out to prove Count Buffon wrong. He sends people across the country in search of an animal or animal bones to prove that creatures in the United States are big and strong and worthy. Hilarious, energetic, and a delight to read aloud, this book shines a light on this little-known slice of American history. Included in the back matter are an author’s note, who’s who and what’s what from American history, bibliography, and further reading.

The Stick book
#12
The Stick
Written and illustrated by Clay Rice
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

When a young boy finds a stick on the ground and reads the inspiring words carved into it, his life begins to change until he fulfills lifelong dreams and discovers the truth about giving.

Ike's Incredible Ink book
#13
Ike's Incredible Ink
Written and illustrated by Brianne Farley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Cleaning his room and talking to his best friend while preparing to write what he knows will be an incredible story, little Ike discovers that he is missing just the right ink to get his project underway, a need that requires extraordinary effort to fulfill.

The Little Reindeer book
#14
The Little Reindeer
Written and illustrated by Nicola Killen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“An original and entertaining Christmas story with its own understated charm.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “A quietly magical tale of holiday miracles and nighttime adventure.” —Publishers Weekly “Killen works magic through simplicity in this understated holiday story…A perfect bedtime read; little ones will cozy up to this sweet book and drift off on their own reindeer-fueled flights of fancy.” —Booklist “An elegant book that has a calming effect; a perfect holiday bedtime story.” —School Library Journal A HORN BOOK HOLIDAY HIGH NOTE An enchanting Christmas story about a magical yet unlikely friendship between a little girl and a lost reindeer sure to be a Christmas classic lovingly told and illustrated with red foil highlights and interactive die cuts. When a jingling sound wakes her from her sleep, a little girl’s dreams come true when she meets a lost reindeer in the forest. They set off on a magical adventure and it becomes a Christmas never to forget. Nicola Killen’s evocative illustrations are sure to enchant in this beautiful book with die cut pages, foil, and flashes of festive red.

Maggie and Wendel: Imagine Everything! book
#15
Maggie and Wendel: Imagine Everything!
Written and illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Illustrations and easy-to-read text portray a young brother and sister as they spend an afternoon imagining great adventures together.

The Book of Mistakes book
#16
The Book of Mistakes
Written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Zoom meets Beautiful Oops! in this memorable picture book debut about the creative process, and the way in which ""mistakes"" can blossom into inspiration One eye was bigger than the other. That was a mistake. The weird frog-cat-cow thing? It made an excellent bush. And the inky smudges… they look as if they were always meant to be leaves floating gently across the sky. As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process. Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest “mistakes” can be the source of the brightest ideas—and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too. Fans of Peter Reynolds’s Ish and Patrick McDonnell’s A Perfectly Messed-Up Story will love the funny, poignant, completely unique storytelling of The Book of Mistakes. And, like Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, it makes the perfect graduation gift, encouraging readers to have a positive outlook as they learn to face life’s obstacles.

Mustache Baby book
#17
Mustache Baby
Written by Bridget Heos and illustrated by Joy Ang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When Baby Billy is born with a mustache, his family takes it in stride. They are reassured when he nobly saves the day in imaginary-play sessions as a cowboy or cop and his mustache looks good-guy great. But as time passes, their worst fears are confirmed when little Billy’s mustache starts to curl up at the ends in a suspiciously villainous fashion. Sure enough, “Billy’s disreputable mustache led him into a life of dreadful crime.” Plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor and cartoonish illustrations make this the perfect baby-shower gift for a mustachioed father-to-be.

What To Do With a Box book
#18
What To Do With a Box
Written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Chris Sheban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

If you give a child a box, who can tell what will happen next? It may become a library or a boat. It could set the scene for a fairy tale or a wild expedition. The most wonderful thing is its seemingly endless capacity for magical adventure, a feature imaginatively captured in cardboardesque art by Chris Sheban and rhythmically celebrated in this poetic tribute by renowned children's author Jane Yolen.

You Can Do It, Bert! book
#19
You Can Do It, Bert!
Written and illustrated by Ole Könnecke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

This is Bert's big day. He is well prepared, mentally, and physically. But he might need some encouragement. You Can Do It, Bert! is a simple, funny picture book with an encouraging positive message. It's a great gift for anyone embarking on a new venture: a child about to start school, a teenager finishing high school, a college student graduating, or anyone starting a new job or going overseas.

The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat book
#20
The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat
Written by Coral Rumble and illustrated by Charlotte Cooke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea, in a box on the living room floor. They sailed away for a year and a day and these are the things that they saw. Join two curious children on a quirky adventure, based on the classic Edward Lear poem, The Owl and the Pussycat. Illustrated by Charlotte Cooke, also known for Sunshine and Snowballs & Wish Upon a Dream, this exciting adventure tale will inspire the imaginations of children and adults alike.

The Forgetful Knight book
#21
The Forgetful Knight
Written by Michelle Robinson and illustrated by Fred Blunt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This hilarious, Monty Python–style sendup of the classic knight-and-dragon story comes with jaunty rhymes and a fabulous twist ending Mischief! Mishaps! Dragons! Here’s the story of an intrepid knight, only our narrator can’t quite remember the details. Did that knight carry a sandwich, or a sword? Was he supposed to fight a cat, or a dragon? A hilarious and unpredictable adventure ensues, building through laugh-out-loud rhymes until, at last, the narrator remembers his own role at the center of all the marvelous madness. Fans of Jon Scieszka’s The Stinky Cheese Man, David Ezra Stein’s Interrupting Chicken, all of Patrick McDonnell’s and Mac Barnett’s picture books will love this zany read-aloud adventure.

Every Color book
#22
Every Color
Written and illustrated by Erin Eitter Kono
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A new friendship helps a polar bear realize that it’s possible to see every color in the rainbow—you just need to know how to look In this picture book perfect for fans of Carson Ellis’s Home and Aaron Becker’s Journey, Bear longs to see color . . . but everything around him on the North Pole is white, white, white. When a seagull brings a gift from a little girl, Bear falls in love with the colors in her painting, but it’s not enough. So the girl sets off in her boat to take Bear on an adventure and help him see the colors up close. The pair visits colorful landmarks around the world, from the windmills of Holland to the Egyptian pyramids to New York’s Statue of Liberty. And by the time they return to Bear’s polar home, Bear has learned to see color reflected all around him—especially the colors of the Northern Lights, which were there all along.

Ella book
#23
Ella
Written by Mallory Kasdan and illustrated by Marcos Chin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A clever parody about a little girl living in a hipster hotel. This is ELLA. She is six years old. She lives at the Local Hotel. She has a nanny called Manny. He has tattoos for sleeves and he might go in with some guys to buy a grilled cheese truck. Sometimes Ella weaves purses out of Ziploc bags and reclaimed twine. (She is artsy of course.) She has a dog named Stacie and a fish named Rasta and a scooter which is important for getting everywhere she needs to be. Altogether she has been to 62 events including that Hillary Clinton fundraiser. She is NEVER bored. If Ella and Kay Thompson’s Eloise got together for a play date, they would have a very good time indeed.

Flashlight Night book
#24
Flashlight Night
Written by Matt Forrest Esenwine and illustrated by Fred Koehler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Flashlight Night is an ode to the power of imagination and the wonder of books. Three children use a flashlight to light a path around their backyard at night; in the flashlight’s beam another world looms. Our heroes encounter spooky woods, a fearsome tiger, a time-forgotten tomb, an Egyptian god, a sword-fighting pirate, and a giant squid. With ingenuity, they vanquish all, then return to their tree house—braver, closer, and wiser than before—to read the books that inspired their adventure.

Bits & Pieces book
#25
Bits & Pieces
Written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

New York Times bestseller and fan favorite Judy Schachner presents a warmly affectionate portrait of a family’s devotion to their beloved cat. Tink has everything he ever wanted – delicious treats, hugs and kisses, and even a kitten to raise. The only thing missing is wild outdoor adventure. So when the opportunity arises, Tink sneaks out – and becomes an outdoor cat for one unforgettable night. Like cozy favorites such as Clare Turlay Newberry’s Marshmallow and Mo Willems’ City Dog, Country Frog, and with soft, meltingly tender illustrations that match the poignant tale, Judy Schachner proves what a superlative storyteller she is with this loving family story.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.