Best Children's Books About Explorer

82+ Children's Books About Explorer

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Hopper and Wilson book
#1
Hopper and Wilson
Written and illustrated by Maria van Lieshout
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A playful tale about friendship and home "What," Hopper asks his little friend Wilson, "do you think it's like at the end of the world?" Hopper, the blue elephant, imagines a staircase to the moon, while Wilson, the yellow mouse, hopes for an endless supply of lemonade. So the two sail off in a boat made of paper . . . only to discover they already have everything they could wish for in each other, and at home. Maria van Lieshout's adorable new picture book tugs at heartstrings, inspires discussion, and reminds us all how good returning home can feel.

This Little Explorer book
#2
This Little Explorer
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Learn all about the most influential explorers who searched the world far and wide in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for pioneers-in-training! Little explorers discover a great big world. The follow up to This Little President, now even the youngest adventurers can learn about the greatest explorers in history with this bright and playful board book. Highlighting ten memorable pioneers, parents and young discoverers alike will love sharing this fun historical primer full of age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

Edmund Unravels book
#3
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.

Kitty Cones: What Makes Us Happy? book
#4
Kitty Cones: What Makes Us Happy?
Written and illustrated by Ralph Cosentino
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Discover all the little things that make the Kitty Cones happy in this sweet book of illustrations from Ralph Cosentino. Life is full of happy moments, from playing on the beach to chasing rainbows, and even running outside when it sprinkles! Join best friends Miyu, Yumi, and Koko as they discover what makes them happy. Filled with clever and endearing art from author and illustrator Ralph Cosentino, this Kitty Cones book teaches kids to value friendship, help others, and enjoy the little things in life.

The Bug Book book
#5
The Bug Book
Written and illustrated by Sue Fliess
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Grab your bucket and join the search for all the cool bugs outside! This fun rhyming story lists all the bugs you can imagine—creep bugs, climb bugs, sticky-slime bugs! Discover the vast world of insects in this photo-filled book.

Karl, Get Out of the Garden! book
#6
Karl, Get Out of the Garden!
Written by Anita Sanchez and illustrated by Catherine Stock
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Do you know what a Solanum caule inermi herbaceo, foliis pinnatis incises, racemis simplicibus is?* Carolus (Karl) Linnaeus started off as a curious child who loved exploring the garden. Despite his intelligence—and his mother’s scoldings—he was a poor student, preferring to be outdoors with his beloved plants and bugs. As he grew up, Karl’s love of nature led him to take on a seemingly impossible task: to give a scientific name to every living thing on earth. The result was the Linnaean system—the basis for the classification system used by biologists around the world today. Backyard sciences are brought to life in beautiful color. Back matter includes more information about Linnaeus and scientific classification, a classification chart, a time line, source notes, resources for young readers, and a bibliography. *it’s a tomato!

Bizzy Bear: Space Rocket book
#7
Bizzy Bear: Space Rocket
Written by Nosy Crow and illustrated by Benji Davies
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Bizzy Bear is exploring space! With sliders and tabs to push and pull, there’s lots of interactivity for toddlers as Bizzy blasts off, glides past aliens, and jumps around on the moon. The perfect book for little ones who dream of being astronauts!

Daylight Starlight Wildlife book
#8
Daylight Starlight Wildlife
Written and illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In amazingly lifelike, luminous paintings, Wendell Minor, one of America’s finest wildlife and landscape painters, reveals the variety of animals that surround us when we are awake and when we are sleeping. Minor’s vivid introduction to diurnal (daytime) and nocturnal (nighttime) creatures invites readers to experience the movements, sounds, colors, and textures of nature. By day a red-tailed hawk soars through sky, and by night a barn owl silently swoops through it. In the daylight a family of fluffy cottontail rabbits hops into a field to forage for food, and under starlight a family of pink-nosed opossums does the same. As day turns to night and night to day, amazing critters large and small come and go. Children will enjoy comparing and contrasting the roaming habits of the wonderful wildlife that surrounds us.

The Quest for Z book
#9
The Quest for Z
Written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

From an award-winning author comes a picture book biography that feels like Indiana Jones for kids! British explorer Percy Fawcett believed that hidden deep within the Amazon rainforest was an ancient city, lost for the ages. Most people didn’t even believe this city existed. But if Fawcett could find it, he would be rich and famous forever. This is the true story of one man’s thrilling, dangerous journey into the jungle, and what he found on his quest for the lost city of Z.

Bits & Pieces book
#10
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.

Bunny Hopwell's First Spring book
#11
Bunny Hopwell's First Spring
Written and illustrated by Jean Fritz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Bunny Hopwell doesn’t understand why everyone is so excited about Spring–he was born during the winter, and all he’s known is snow and cold. After smelling fresh grass and hearing robins sing, he finally understands what Spring is—the perfect time to spring over the garden fence and explore the world!

A First Book of the Sea book
#12
A First Book of the Sea
Written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Emily Sutton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In a remarkable collaboration, Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton celebrate the sea in all its changing moods -- and the place it holds in our hearts and minds. Ours is a blue planet. The oceans cover more than two-thirds of its surface and constantly calls to us to play, explore, and dream. Our fascination with the sea is as endless as our means of enjoying it -- whether building sand castles, navigating by the stars, or observing strange and beautiful marine creatures. In a volume brimming with information, Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton capture the magic and majesty of the ocean with stunning words and pictures. Poems about manta rays, flying fish, and humpback whales mingle with verses about harbors, storms, and pearl divers. Glimpses of life in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans flow into spreads about tropical islands, coral reefs, and ancient shipwrecks on the seabed. Teeming with colorful details, this treasure trove of knowledge will be pored over by adults and children alike, and its exploration of the vast mysteries of the sea will captivate readers for years to come.

What Can I Taste? book
#13
What Can I Taste?
Written and illustrated by Annie Kubler
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A group of babies have fun tasting things that are sweet, soft, crunchy, and cold. On board pages.

Sun- Thompson book
#14
Sun- Thompson
Written and illustrated by Carol Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Let’s play out in the sun! There’s a wealth of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures to discover and enjoy! In this series of richly illustrated books, Carol Thompson celebrates the immediate and sensory response of children to the natural world – whatever the weather!

What Can I Smell? book
#15
What Can I Smell?
Written and illustrated by Annie Kubler
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A group of babies have fun smelling the things in the world around them. On board pages.

Garcia and Colette Go Exploring book
#16
Garcia and Colette Go Exploring
Written by Hannah Barnaby and illustrated by Andrew Joyner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Exploring outer space and the ocean is exciting, but what if you left something very important at home? Best friends Garcia and Colette are eager to go exploring, only they can’t agree on where to go. Garcia loves everything about space (Stars! Planets!)­ and Colette is obsessed with the sea (Waves! Fish!). Staying home is not an option, so they each get busy. Garcia builds a rocket ship that’s snazzy and silver. Colette’s shiny submarine is perfect for deep-sea dives. And they wish each other well on their travels. It turns out the Milky Way really is amazing and the ocean floor is truly spectacular, but Garcia and Colette both realize they left something very important back home. Exploring your favorite place can be terrific, but maybe the company is more important than the destination.

What Can I Hear? book
#17
What Can I Hear?
Written and illustrated by Annie Kubler
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A group of babies have fun making noises and listening to things. On board pages.

What Can I See? book
#18
What Can I See?
Written and illustrated by Annie Kubler
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A book for toddlers about some of the things they can see.

Wind book
#19
Wind
Written and illustrated by Carol Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Let’s play out in the wind! There’s a wealth of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures to discover and enjoy! In this series of richly illustrated books, Carol Thompson celebrates the immediate and sensory response of children to the natural world – whatever the weather!

Snow book
#20
Snow
Written and illustrated by Carol Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Let’s play out in the snow! There’s a wealth of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures to discover and enjoy! In this series of richly illustrated books, Carol Thompson celebrates the immediate and sensory response of children to the natural world – whatever the weather!

Rain book
#21
Rain
Written and illustrated by Carol Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Let’s play out in the rain! There’s a wealth of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures to discover and enjoy! In this series of richly illustrated books, Carol Thompson celebrates the immediate and sensory response of children to the natural world – whatever the weather!

Song of the Wild book
#22
Song of the Wild
Written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Petr Horacek
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

An extensive look at nature in verse. An essential introduction to the animal world with exquisitely modern illustrations.

What Can I Feel? book
#23
What Can I Feel?
Written and illustrated by Annie Kubler
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A board book designed to promote the exploration of the sense of touch, describing different feelings from cold snow to warm, soft, furry animals.

John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall book
#24
John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall
Written and illustrated by Julie Danneberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The now iconic figure John Muir, while living at the base of Yosemite Falls in California, ventures up the trail from his cabin one night and has a harrowing waterfall adventure. Back matter roots the story in Muir’s life’s work as a conservationist and naturalist.

Ladybug Girl and Bingo book
#25
Ladybug Girl and Bingo
Written by Jacky Davis and illustrated by David Soman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

This hardcover picture book in the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series explores the theme of responsibility for a pet and the fun of a first camping trip. Lulu and her dog Bingo the basset hound are best friends. Whenever they play outside, Bingo always stays close by Lulu’s side. When they go camping for the first time, Lulu does her best to be responsible and hold tight to Bingo’s leash. But what happens when Bingo wants to explore the forest on his own and runs off? This is a job for Ladybug Girl! She will find Bingo in time for toasting marshmallows at the campfire. For fans of Fancy Nancy and Toot and Puddle, the Ladybug Girl series honors a love of the outdoors, family, and creativity!

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