Our Favorite 28 Books to Read With Your Kids About Camping

Updated Apr. 23, 2019

Can you smell it now? The campfire smoke in your hair, on your jacket, on your children? But it's worth it. The sound of the river rushing by, the feel of the wind in the air, and the trees towering around. It is just nice to be surrounded by nature on a camping trip. Surely you have your own traditions of camping, but these stories might spark those memories and bring to life your fun vacations with family.

All Aboard! National Parks book
All Aboard! National Parks
Written by Kevin Meyers, Haily Meyers and illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From the creators of BabyLit®: Every area of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. This new board book series written by the husband and wife team of Haily and Kevin Meyers and illustrated by Haily, celebrates the unique qualities of each city while employing a fun primer element to tell the story. These books will have you and baby seeing the world by train and will turn story time into a globetrotting event. Perfect as a souvenir or as part of a geography collection for brilliant babies, the All Aboard! series will be pulling into your station next!

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee book
A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee
Written by Chris Van Dusen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from Mr. Stacatto

A silly tale of a night in a camper gone awry. I found it interesting that the first half of the book is just a cute story about a man and his dog enjoying a campout together in the beauty of nature. It's only half-way through the book, after Mr. Magee and his dog Dee have gone to bed, the tone of the book changes and the comedy begins.

Mr. Magee and his dog Dee go camping and have an adventure with a hungry bear.

Flashlight book
Written and illustrated by Lizi Boyd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from The Goodfather

While it doesn't have words, Flashlight still tells an adventurous story of a young boy exploring the woods with his flashlight and the funny, ironic turn his adventure takes. The simple illustration style captures the feeling of searching in the dark, when often only outlines of shapes can be seen. Yet there is still a lot to study and observe on each page, and some mischief to discover, too. The dark outlines contrast in a fun way with the detail that emerges wherever the flashlight shines.

Inside a tent it's cozy. But what is going on outside? Is it dark? Is it scary? Not if you have your trusty flashlight! Told solely through images and using a spare yet dramatic palette, artist Lizi Boyd has crafted a masterful exploration of night, nature, and art. Both lyrical and humorous, this visual poem—like the flashlight beam itself—reveals that there is magic in the darkness. We just have to look for it.

A Campfire Tale book
A Campfire Tale
Written by Sarah Glenn Marsh and illustrated by Ana Gomez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

The illustrations in this book are so fun! When Dragon is new to camp, one little camper decides to be his buddy to help him and be their friend, but ends up being a little frustrated with Dragon. The story ends with a bunch of happy campers!

"Ever been stuck with a friend who’s totally uncool—and worried that it will rub off on you? Welcome to Camp Wildwood! It’s Dragon’s first day, and his buddy would LIKE to show him a good time. But Dragon doesn’t seem to fit in with the boys and girls. He overturns the boat, ruins the puppet show, and even sets the tent on fire. Then, just as his buddy is about to give up, Dragon comes through in a pinch. This sweet, funny picture book teaches an important lesson about the true meaning of friendship—and in accepting the strengths and weaknesses of others."

Camp Rex book
Camp Rex
Written and illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

What could be more fun than a camping trip with a good friend? When that friend is T. Rex! It’s important to set a few wilderness safety guidelines first. . . like making sure he stays on the trail. And does not disturb the local wildlife. And knows how to build a safe campfire. But sometimes dinosaurs have a different way of doing things, and that’s why it’s best to be prepared . . . for anything! Following in the extremely large and funny footsteps of Tea Rex, Camp Rex is for anyone who loves to roast a marshmallow or two around the campfire . . . or the whole bag at once!

A Walk in the Forest book
A Walk in the Forest
Written by Jaye Garnett and illustrated by Lisa Manuzak
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Curious toddlers and preschoolers will learn fun facts in this Smithsonian Kids book about forest creatures including deer, bears, beavers, foxes, rabbits, birds, and many more. Every page features an engaging "spinning wheel" that when turned by your little one builds fine motor skills and introduces additional forest plants and animals in the viewing window. The sturdy board pages and built-in handle are just right for little hands, and the beautiful, detailed illustrations will engage, entertain, and educate your little one. Explore up in the trees and underground. Learn fun facts and new vocabulary words. Discover where animals make their homes. Knowledge helps kids shine!

 Who Peek-A-Flap book
Who Peek-A-Flap
Written by Jaye Garnett and illustrated by Ariel Silverstein
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Introduces animals & habitats Supports comprehension & vocabulary growth Entertains with exploration & surprise Peek and explore in the forest! You'll meet all sorts of animal friends. Each scene features a pair of lift-a-flaps with peek-a-boo surprises. Inside the flaps, you'll find fun facts about the animals in the artwork. ISBN: 978-1-68052-125-2 7.0"w x 7.0"h 6 peek-a-flap spreads embossed cover with foil

The Caterpillar and the Polliwog book
The Caterpillar and the Polliwog
Written and illustrated by Jack Kent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Impressed by the proud caterpillar's boast that she will turn into a butterfly when she grows up, a polliwog determines to watch the caterpillar very carefully and turn into a butterfly too.

S Is for S'Mores book
S Is for S'Mores
Written by Helen Foster James and illustrated by Lita Judge
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

"Introduces camping from A to Z using poetry, prose, and illustrations in a children's picture book. Includes information on beach camping, canyons, foliage, camping gear, John Muir, Juliette Gordon Low, and more"--Provided by publisher.

Oliver and Hope's Adventure Under the Stars book
Oliver and Hope's Adventure Under the Stars
Written and illustrated by Meg Cadts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The moon and stars set imagination aglow as Oliver the bear and Hope the butterfly join their friends Millie the barn owl and Chewie the English bulldog for their first camping trip. The night is filled with amazing discoveries and silly games that make the shadows a little less scary and the adventure a whole lot more fun. Take a seat with these friends around the campfire. This much-anticipated follow-up to the award-winning Oliver & Hope's Amusing Adventure helps the real-life journey of thousands of children through its inspiring tale and the medical grants the book's proceeds support. Watch many of these success stories come to life and learn how you can make more possible when you visit UHCCF.org.

Piper Reed, Campfire Girl book
Piper Reed, Campfire Girl
Written by Kimberly Willis Holt and illustrated by Christine Davenier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Fifth-grader Piper and her sisters are thrilled about their first-ever camping trip until they learn it will be at Halloween, but other Navy families join them, including an annoying new member of the Gypsy Club.

Emma Dilemma and the Camping Nanny book
Emma Dilemma and the Camping Nanny
Written by Patricia Hermes and illustrated by Abby Carter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Nine-year-old Emma O'Fallon finds herself in increasing difficulties at home and at school as her determined efforts to break up the growing attachment between Annie, the Irish nanny, and Bo, her boyfriend, cause chaos on a family camping trip and Emma'srelationship with her best friend Luisa seems to be going from bad to worse.

The Camp-Out Mystery (The Boxcar Children Mysteries #27) book
The Camp-Out Mystery (The Boxcar Children Mysteries #27)
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A camp-out trip is almost spoiled by loud music and the disappearance of a lantern--and Grandfather.

Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things book
Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things
Written by Wendelin Van Draanen and illustrated by Brian Biggs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

While on her first hiking and camping trip, thirteen-year-old Sammy tries to solve a mystery involving endangered condors while avoiding scorpions, ticks, and embarrassment.

Don't Feed the Bear book
Don't Feed the Bear
Written by Kathleen Doherty and illustrated by Chip Wass
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

A park ranger and a bear face off in a battle of signs as they each try to get treats from visiting campers.

Our Great Big Backyard book
Our Great Big Backyard
Written by Jenna Bush Hager, Laura Bush and illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

To help commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the National Park Service, #1 New York Times bestselling authors former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna Bush Hager have created an exuberant picture book tribute to our national parks and the importance and fun of connecting with nature. Our Great Big Backyard follows Jane, whose plans of spending the summer playing video games with her friends are dashed when her parents announce that her family is going on a road trip to national parks around the country. Yet somewhere between the Everglades and Big Bend National Park, things begin to change. Jane starts paying attention to the magnificent sights and spends less time looking at her screen. The stunning views open up her imagination as she and her brother see everything that nature has to offer. And the more Jane discovers, the more she realizes how much there is to love about the outdoors—whether she’s in a national park across the country or right in her own backyard.

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping book
Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping
Written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Uncomfortable with the idea of camping outdoors, Scaredy Squirrel engages in a camping venture on his couch away from mosquitoes, skunks and zippers and hopes to watch a camping show on his new television, which requires him to hunt for an electrical outlet in the woods.

When We Go Camping book
When We Go Camping
Written by Margriet Ruurs and illustrated by Andrew Kiss, Margriet Ruurs
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

In this beautifully illustrated book, one busy family finds lots to do from sun up to sunset. At the campsite, there’s wood to chop for the fire and fish to catch. And there’s lots of time to explore, climb rocks, splash in the lake, and discover animals in the shadows of the woods. As afternoon turns to evening, supper needs to be made, and just before bed, stories are told around the campfire. When We Go Camping is as instructional as it is delightful. Each painting highlights the tracks of one animal, which curve from the text into the illustration. Readers can turn to the glossary for more details about the wildlife depicted on each page. When We Go Camping is a perfect way to preserve summer memories all year long.

1,2,3 Make a S'More WIth Me book
1,2,3 Make a S'More WIth Me
Written and illustrated by Elizabeth Gauthier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

A fun counting book perfect for beginning readers.

Gray Squirrels book
Gray Squirrels
Written and illustrated by G.G. Lake
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Gray squirrels leap from high heights to move from tree to tree. Discover these delightful rodents' life cycle and lifestyle in the woods.

Over in the Forest book
Over in the Forest
Written by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Jill Dubin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Follow the tracks of ten woodland animals but . . . uh-oh . . . watch out for the skunk! Children learn the ways of forest animals to the rhythm of "Over in the Meadow" as they leap like a squirrel, dunk like a raccoon, and pounce like a fox. They will also count the babies and search for ten hidden forest animals. Cut paper illustrations add to the fun in this delightful introduction to a woodland habitat.

Because of an Acorn book
Because of an Acorn
Written by Adam Schaefer, Lola M. Schaefer and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Because of an acorn, a tree grows, a bird nests, a seed becomes a flower. Enchanting die-cuts illustrate the vital connections between the layers of an ecosystem in this magical book. Wander down the forest path to learn how every tree, flower, plant, and animal connect to one another in spiraling circles of life. An acorn is just the beginning.

Duck Tents book
Duck Tents
Written by Lynne Berry and illustrated by Hiroe Nakata
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In a small backyard, by a squat stone fence, five little ducks pitch five duck tents. The five little ducks are going camping! They can't wait for a day of fun at the fishing hole. In the evening they sit around the campfire and toast marshmallows. But just as they're about to snuggle up tight and drift off to sleep, they hear a scary noise. Whooo can it be?

Sheep Take a Hike book
Sheep Take a Hike
Written by Nancy E Shaw and illustrated by Margot Apple
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Having gotten lost on a chaotic hike in the great outdoors, the sheep find their way back by following the trail of wool they have left.

Good Night Campsite book
Good Night Campsite
Written and illustrated by Mark Jasper, Adam Gamble
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Good Night Campsite features camping, cooking, tents, RVs, lakes, mountains, rivers, trees, ducks, frogs, chipmunks, biking, picnics, hiking, autumn leaves, campfires, fireflies, sleeping bags, and more. Grab your duffel bags, it’s time to head to the campsite. This charming board book takes young readers on an outing to their favorite campsites while indulging in all their favorite outdoor activities. Roasted marshmallows included! This book is part of the bestselling Good Night Our World series, which includes hundreds of titles exploring iconic locations and exciting themes.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!