Best Kids Books About Explorer

77 Kids Books About Explorer

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Edmund Unravels book
#1
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.

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole book
#2
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole
Written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find . . . nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary — and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.

Inky's Amazing Escape book
#3
Inky's Amazing Escape
Written by Sy Montgomery and illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Learn all about Inky the Octopus, an international sensation known for escaping from the New Zealand aquarium in April 2016, in this adorable picture book from National Book Award nominee and octopus lover Sy Montgomery. Inky had been at the New Zealand aquarium since 2014 after being taken in by a fisherman who found him at sea. Inky had been getting used to his new environment, but the staff quickly figured out that he had to be kept amused or he would get bored. Then one night in 2016 Inky, about the size of a basketball, decided he’d had enough. He slithered eight feet across the floor and down a drainpipe more than 160 feet long to his home in the sea. Acclaimed author Sy Montogmery reminds readers that Inky didn’t escape—but instead, like the curious animal he is, wanted to explore the rest of the vast ocean he called his home.

Zoe's Jungle book
#4
Zoe's Jungle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

When Mama’s schedule and Zoe’s playtime collide, what's an explorer to do? A quest book, a sister story, and a race against the clock, Zoe’s Jungle is a heartwarming tale of adventure and imagination.

Bits & Pieces book
#5
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.

Star Stuff book
#6
Star Stuff
Written and illustrated by Stephanie Roth Sisson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"A biography of Carl Sagan focusing on his childhood and culminating in the Voyager mission and the Golden Record"--Provided by publisher.

Explorers of the Wild book
#7
Explorers of the Wild
Written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Boy and Bear both love to explore the outdoors. There are so many neat things to see, and so many strange things to find. These explorers are prepared for anything . . . except each other! When Bear and Boy meet in the woods, they're scared at first. Really scared. But soon these kings of the wild realize that no mountain is too big to conquer if you have a friend to climb it by your side.

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.

Garcia and Colette Go Exploring book
#9
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.

The Quest for Z book
#10
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.

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!

Ladybug Girl and Bingo book
#12
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!

Ladybug Girl's Day Out with Grandpa book
#13
Ladybug Girl's Day Out with Grandpa
Written by Jacky Davis and illustrated by David Soman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Ladybug Girl and Grandpa visit the museum in the New York Times bestselling series’ latest picture book! Lulu wants to learn everything, but she discovers that sometimes you have to slow down to appreciate the wonder of what’s around you. When Lulu and Grandpa visit the museum, Lulu wants to see it all! Grandpa suggests exploring bit by bit, but Lulu can do it all—she’s Ladybug Girl! But there is so much to see. Even Ladybug Girl may never see it all. Then Grandpa shows her something extra special: the butterfly room! Inside, Lulu slows down. She looks and listens. And she realizes that Ladybug Girl can be like a flower if she holds very still and thinks flower thoughts. When a shining blue butterfly lands on her finger, she understands that even if she can’t learn everything in one day, she can learn so much from each moment, if she only takes the time to look around.

Return book
#14
Return
Written and illustrated by Aaron Becker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Welcome the much-anticipated finale of Caldecott Honoree Aaron Becker’s wordless trilogy—a spectacular, emotionally satisfying story that brings its adventurer home. Failing to get the attention of her busy father, a lonely girl turns back to a fantastic world for friendship and adventure. It’s her third journey into the enticing realm of kings and emperors, castles and canals, exotic creatures and enchanting landscapes. This time, it will take something truly powerful to persuade her to return home, as a gripping backstory is revealed that will hold readers in its thrall. Caldecott Honor winner Aaron Becker delivers a suspenseful and moving climax to his wordless trilogy, an epic that began with the award-winning Journey and continued with the celebrated follow-up Quest.

Song of the Wild book
#15
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.

A First Book of the Sea book
#16
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.

John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall book
#17
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.

Five Little Gefiltes book
#18
Five Little Gefiltes
Written and illustrated by Dave Horowitz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When five curious young gefilte fish have the chutzpah to sneak out of their jar and set off to explore the world, they are followed by a loud OY VEY!—Mama Gefilte isn’t too happy to see her little ones leaving the nest. But she’s taught them well, and at the end of their adventures, each one proves himself a mensch—making Mama one proud gefilte indeed. Dave Horowitz’s playful rhyming tale, its illustrations packed with comic asides, will have readers giggling out loud and looking for opportunities to practice their Yiddish—with help from the handy glossary at the end of the book.

When Sparks Fly: The True Story of Robert Goddard, the Father of US Rocketry book
#19
When Sparks Fly: The True Story of Robert Goddard, the Father of US Rocketry
Written by Kristen Fulton and illustrated by Diego Funck
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Robert Goddard may be known as the father of US rocketry, but back in the 1880s, he was just a kid in Worcester, Massachusetts. Even as a youngster, his eyes glimmered with scientific interest and the thrill of discovery. With BAMS! POPS! BANGS! he experimented time and time again with one mission: make his rockets fly! Join Kristen Fulton and Diego Funck as they take you on one explosive journey about a young kid who shot for the moon, never gave up, and let his creative sparks of curiosity burn bright.

Feathers and Hair, What Animals Wear book
#20
Feathers and Hair, What Animals Wear
Written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-8

At first glance, a wild animal’s appearance may seem simple. But there is fascinating science behind every part of an animal’s physique—from its nose to its toes! Celebrated author Jennifer Ward explores different kinds of fur, feathers, skin, and scales in this nonfiction picture book that’s truly like no other. From porcupines and polar bears to octopuses and owls, you’ll never see animal outerwear the same way again!

The Treasure of Pirate Frank book
#21
The Treasure of Pirate Frank
Written by Elspeth Graham, Mal Peet and illustrated by Jez Tuya
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A boy and his dog set sail in search of treasure, braving stormy seas, mountains snowy and cold, the forest where the monkeys swing, the swamp where the bullfrogs sing, and other challenging obstacles, before finally reaching the end of their quest—the treasure of Pirate Frank. But there’s a surprise in store when they discover that Pirate Frank is a girl. And no one is going to steal her treasure!

The Sasquatch and the Lumberjack book
#22
The Sasquatch and the Lumberjack
Written and illustrated by Crix Sheridan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

An unlikely friendship develops when a lumberjack meets a sasquatch. Follow along as they share Pacific Northwest adventures through the seasons and become close friends. After a tentative meeting one fall day, Sasquatch and Lumberjack develop a close friendship as they ski and sled, surf and swim, camp and hike, and forage and pick apples throughout the seasons. This delightful story of an unlikely friendship is told in spare text with endearing illustrations.

Ready, Set, Sail! book
#23
Ready, Set, Sail!
Written by Meg Fleming and illustrated by Luke Flowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Join these sailors as they explore the sea during a fun day of sailing in this follow-up to Ready, Set, Build! Shout your orders loud and fast. "Hoist the mainsail up the mast!" Grab your life vest, hold on to your compass, and get ready for a day full of sailing fun with a playful tiger and turtle! Follow these salty sailors as they raise their anchor, cast off, and explore the sea in their little sloop. And after a long day of sailing, they gather and tell tales of all the things they've seen!

Baby Bear's Book of Tiny Tales book
#24
Baby Bear's Book of Tiny Tales
Written and illustrated by David McPhail
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Great for fans of the Little Bear series, this collection of four sweet stories of friendship and discovery makes a perfect new baby gift. This collection of simple, short, and irresistibly sweet stories about Baby Bear finding things--and figuring out what to do with them--includes "Baby Bear Finds a Book," "Baby Bear Finds a Flower," "Baby Bear Finds a Baby Bird," and "Baby Bear Finds a Friend." Charmingly written and illustrated by celebrated artist David McPhail, the impeccably classic feel of the text and art will take readers back to Sendak's Little Bear and Lobel's Frog and Toad books.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears book
#25
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Written by Margot Channing and illustrated by Ellie Jenkins, Margot Channing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The Scribblers Look and Say series encourages eagle-eyed young readers to find creatures and objects hidden inside enchanting, charmingly-illustrated retellings of familiar fairy tales, like Goldilocks and the three bears. Every page features a sidebar containing items for children to spot and say aloud, practising their reading and speaking skills. A treasure hunt at the back invites readers to explore further.

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