An Award-Winning Book Club for Kids
Shop Now

Explorers: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about explorers?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to explorers. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about explorers.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about explorers, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Dear Yeti to popular sellers like The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me to some of our favorite hidden gems like Sam & Dave Dig a Hole.

We hope this list of kids books about explorers can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Explorers

#1
Add to list
This Little Explorer
Written by Joan Holub & 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.
#2
Add to list
Off & Away
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
How would you get mail if you lived in the middle of the sea? It's Jo's dad's job to deliver it, taking bottles wherever they need to go. He always comes home with exciting stories to tell-but Jo is far too afraid to go out on the ocean herself. Until Dad gets a bad sea cold, that is. With no one but Jo to deliver the bottles, she must find her courage and set sail alone. As she embarks on her mission, her fears just might be replaced with new friendships . . . and grand stories of her own. With beautiful, atmospheric art and endearing new characters by author-illustrator Cale Atkinson, this picturebook is a treasure.
#3
Add to list
A House That Once Was
Written by Julie Fogliano & illustrated by Lane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
The dynamic duo of Ezra Jack Keats Award–winning author Julie Fogliano and Caldecott Award–winning illustrator Lane Smith team up to tell a delightful story about a boy and a girl who explore an abandoned house and imagine who might have lived there in A House That Once Was. Deep in the woods is a house just a house that once was but now isn’t a home. Who lived in that house? Who walked down its hallways? Why did they leave it, and where did they go? Two children set off to find the answers, piecing together clues found, books left behind, forgotten photos, discarded toys, and creating their own vision of those who came before.
#4
Add to list
Jane Foster's Cities: London
Written by Jane Foster
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Introduce little ones to London in this bold and graphic board book by illustrator and textile designer Jane Foster. In this beautiful and sophisticated board book, children will be introduced to bold images of London, such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge, fish and chips, and more!
#5
Add to list
Edmund Unravels
Written & 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.
#6
Add to list
Magnolia's Magnificent Map
Written by Lauren Bradshaw & illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
?In this second book in the Walnut Animal Society series, following Henry's Bright Idea--Magnolia the Bunny explores the grove with her friends Margaux the Kitty and Chester the Raccoon, looking for that elusive, special place that will complete her map. Deep in the shade of a walnut grove stands a tall tree house. A delightful group of friends gathers here. They call themselves the Walnut Animal Society. Their mission is to create and to always remain curious. The Walnut Animal Society is busy preparing for a very special event. The Society Soiree comes just once a month, when the night is clear and the stars are bright. Tonight it is Magnolia the Bunny's turn to share. Everyone is excited. Everyone but Magnolia, that is. It has taken her months of exploring and sketching and picture-snapping to create her latest map--a map of the walnut grove. There's just one problem. Her map isn't finished. Magnolia's map is missing a spot. Will she finish it in time?
#7
Add to list
Go for the Moon
Written & illustrated by Chris Gall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10
For the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, a step-by-step explanation of how the Apollo 11 spacecraft worked as told by a young enthusiast.The Apollo 11 astronauts have prepared carefully for their attempt to be the first men to land on the moon. The young narrator of this book has prepared carefully, too: he explains the design of the spacecraft, the flight from the earth to the moon, and the drama of touching down - while shadowing the astronaut's voyage with one of his own. Go for the Moon! captures the fascinating detail and inspiring adventure of the moon landing. It is a captivating celebration of one of humankind's greatest technical achievements and most extraordinary feats of exploration.
#8
Add to list
Hopper and Wilson
Written & 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.
#9
Add to list
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole
Written by Mac Barnett & 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.
#10
Add to list
Oliver and the Seawigs
Written by Phillip Reave & illustrated by Sarah McIntyre and Phillip Reave
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
Get ready for moving islands! Mischievous monkeys! And a splashy adventure with illustrations on almost every page. When Oliver’s explorer parents go missing, he sets sail to find them with some new friends. There’s a grumpy albatross, a nearsighted mermaid . . . even a living island! But the high seas are more exciting and strange than Oliver could have imagined. Can he and his crew spar with sarcastic seaweed, outrun an army of sea monkeys, win a fabulous maritime fashion contest, and defeat a wicked sea captain in time to save Mom and Dad? For early chapter book readers who are ready for something longer, the Not-So-Impossible Tales are packed with silly humor, action, and larger-than-life fun.
Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Explorers and...

Books About Explorers and Transportation

Add to list
Off & Away
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
How would you get mail if you lived in the middle of the sea? It's Jo's dad's job to deliver it, taking bottles wherever they need to go. He always comes home with exciting stories to tell-but Jo is far too afraid to go out on the ocean herself. Until Dad gets a bad sea cold, that is. With no one but Jo to deliver the bottles, she must find her courage and set sail alone. As she embarks on her mission, her fears just might be replaced with new friendships . . . and grand stories of her own. With beautiful, atmospheric art and endearing new characters by author-illustrator Cale Atkinson, this picturebook is a treasure.
Add to list
Garcia and Colette Go Exploring
Written by Hannah Barnaby & 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.
Add to list
I Can Explore
Written & illustrated by Betsy Snyder
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Adventure awaits! Young readers help characters explore the world—from embarking on a jungle safari through touch-and-feel fabric leaves to riding a tandem bike through Paris—just by wiggling their fingers! Then, with two sets of hands, children assist these explorers as they head off on their next adventure in the gatefold finale. Active and adorable characters model both independence and teamwork, making this innovative board book perfect for interactive reading and playtime fun!
Honorable Mentions
The Skies Above My Eyes book
Add to list
All Aboard The Discovery Express book
Add to list
Snail Mail book
Add to list
Let's Watch the Trucks! book
Add to list
  1. The Skies Above My Eyes - Have you ever looked up and wondered what’s going on high up in the skies above your eyes? Take a journey up into the air, through the atmosphere, way out into space, and back down to Earth in this richly illustrated concertina book. Readers will zoom past the technology that fills our skies, from helicopters, fighter jets, weather balloons, and satellites, hang-gliders and hot-air balloons. They’ll also discover the insects and animals that whizz through the skies, explore the layers of the atmosphere, and travel through the solar system and out to the galaxies far beyond. Following on from The Street Beneath My Feet, which dug down to the centre of the Earth, this expansive concertina book opens out to an impressive 2.5 metres, perfect for inquisitive young minds.

  2. All Aboard The Discovery Express - Welcome on board the Discovery Express! The year is 1937 and a conundrum is afoot: a professor on the verge of a brilliant discovery has disappeared. Can you help to solve the clues on this time-travelling adventure and track down the missing scientist? On your voyage, you’ll travel the world, see some of the most important moments in the history of transportation, meet the most brilliant engineers of all time, and ultimately unveil the design of the world’s first jet engine! ?This interactive lift-flap adventure is sure to spark the imaginations of aspiring scientists and engineers everywhere.

  3. Snail Mail - A long, long time ago, before email and texting, the mail was delivered in a much slower way-it was called Snail Mail (because some thought it was delivered by a snail). Although it took much longer, everyone agreed that letters were a little more special when they were delivered by Snail Mail. They might be handwritten. They might include a drawing. They might even contain a surprise inside! One such letter was sent by a Girl to the Boy she loved, and it was up to four special snails to deliver her card across the country. The snails trek across the country-through desert heat and dangerous blizzards, across mountains and plains, through cities and forests-and along the way, they find that taking time to slow down and look around makes the journey all the more beautiful. Snail Mail’s playful and educational story encourages kids to have slow living, and to approach life with determination and wonder. Julia Patton’s rich illustrations showcase America’s diverse terrain and national monuments from coast to coast. Kids and parents alike will delight in this celebration of America’s beauty and the power of a simple handwritten letter.

  4. Let's Watch the Trucks! - When a brother and sister go on a walk to find the yellow truck, they come across many different colors and styles of trucks, all with different sounds—but where is the yellow truck? Young readers will learn to identify colors, trucks, and sounds in this delightful and engaging story.

Books About Explorers and Friendship

Add to list
Hopper and Wilson
Written & 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.
Add to list
Dear Yeti
Written & illustrated by James Kwan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A sweet and whimsical story of a perfect kid-sized winter adventure, Dear Yeti is the debut picture book of an author/illustrator to watch. Two young hikers set out to look for Yeti one day, and with the help of a bird friend, they trek further and further into the woods, sending letters to coax the shy creature out of hiding. But as their trip goes on, the hikers find that they have not prepared very well, and though their morale is high, food supplies are low, the forest is getting darker, and a snowstorm looms. Luckily Yeti is a friend they can rely on, and though he's not ready to come out of hiding, he sneakily finds a way to get the hikers exactly what they need when they need it.
Add to list
Bits & Pieces
Written & 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.
Honorable Mentions
Monster and Mouse Go Camping book
Add to list
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me book
Add to list
The Doll's Eye book
Add to list
Baby Bear's Book of Tiny Tales book
Add to list
  1. Monster and Mouse Go Camping - It takes a little convincing, but with the promise of food, Monster decides to join Mouse on a camping trip. Things quickly go awry when Mouse takes off to explore, because, well, Monster gets hungry. He starts with just a little snack—the lantern. And the sleeping bags are hard to resist. Then the tent . . . Stranded in the wild with no supplies, what are a monster and a mouse to do? Join these friends on an unforgettable camping trip, perfect for reading snuggled in a sleeping bag or curled on a couch.

  2. The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me - From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG! The Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company certainly doesn’t. They don’t need a pail, either, because they have a pelican with a bucket-sized beak. With a monkey to do the washing and Billy as their manager, this business is destined for success. Now they have their big break—a chance to clean all 677 windows of the Hampshire House, owned by the richest man in all of England! That’s exciting enough, but along the way there are surprises and adventures beyond their wildest window-washing dreams.

  3. The Doll's Eye - A beautiful and haunting tale for independent readers from the author of The Inn Between All Hadley wants is for everything to go back to the way it used to be—back when she didn’t have to share her mother with her stepfather and stepbrother. Back when she wasn’t forced to live in a musty, decomposing house. Back when she had a life in the city with her friends. As Hadley whiles away what’s left of her summer, exploring the nearby woods and splitting her time between her strange, bug-obsessed neighbor Gabe and the nice old lady that lives above the garage, she begins to notice the house isn’t just old and creaky. It’s full of secrets, just like appearance of a mysterious dollhouse and the family of perfect dolls she finds. Oh, how she wishes her family were more like those lovely dolls! Then one day, Hadley discovers a lone glass eye rolling around the floor of the attic. Holding it close one night, she makes a wish that just might change her world forever. The Doll’s Eye bears Marina Cohen’s trademark eerie style and beautiful writing.

  4. Baby Bear's Book of Tiny Tales - 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.

Books About Explorers and Nature

Add to list
Magnolia's Magnificent Map
Written by Lauren Bradshaw & illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
?In this second book in the Walnut Animal Society series, following Henry's Bright Idea--Magnolia the Bunny explores the grove with her friends Margaux the Kitty and Chester the Raccoon, looking for that elusive, special place that will complete her map. Deep in the shade of a walnut grove stands a tall tree house. A delightful group of friends gathers here. They call themselves the Walnut Animal Society. Their mission is to create and to always remain curious. The Walnut Animal Society is busy preparing for a very special event. The Society Soiree comes just once a month, when the night is clear and the stars are bright. Tonight it is Magnolia the Bunny's turn to share. Everyone is excited. Everyone but Magnolia, that is. It has taken her months of exploring and sketching and picture-snapping to create her latest map--a map of the walnut grove. There's just one problem. Her map isn't finished. Magnolia's map is missing a spot. Will she finish it in time?
Add to list
What's the Difference?
Written by Emma Strack & illustrated by Guillaume Plantevin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 10-14
What distinguishes a mandarin orange from a clementine, an iris from a pupil, a tornado from a cyclone, and a bee from a wasp? The difference is in the details! This content-rich illustrated extravaganza distills the distinctions between an impressive collection of pairs—from animals to food to geography and more—offering enlightening trivia, amusing tidbits, and unforgettable facts in a highly browsable format. Young readers can dip in quickly to feed their curiosity, or delve into the details and stay awhile. With a bold, graphic art style and an accessible, smart text, this miscellany collection will enrich probing minds (or is it "brains"?!).
Add to list
Natural World
Written & illustrated by Amanda Wood and Mike Jolley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
A first introduction to the natural world that looks at the myriad ways in which plants and animals have adapted to give themselves the best chance of survival. Natural World explores and explains why living things look and behave the way they do in a series of visually compelling information charts.
Honorable Mentions
Rocks book
Add to list
Nature's Day book
Add to list
Song of the Wild book
Add to list
Prickly Hedgehogs! book
Add to list
  1. Rocks - What are rocks? How are rocks formed? Why do some of them glitter? Baby Explorer encourages little ones to explore the world around them, through their five senses of seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, or tasting.

  2. Nature's Day - Discover the world of wonder on your doorstep with this first book of nature.

  3. Song of the Wild - An extensive look at nature in verse. An essential introduction to the animal world with exquisitely modern illustrations.

  4. Prickly Hedgehogs! - When the sun has set, Hedgehog’s day has only just begun. She’s out and about, snuffling through layers of leaves and twigs as she searches for bugs and other things to eat. Young animal lovers will enjoy following Hedgehog and her little hoglets through towns and gardens, parks and woodland, as they sniff-sniff-sniff for food. The facts threaded throughout this inviting story augment the charming illustrations and will satisfy the most inquisitive of readers.

Books About Explorers and Social Themes

Add to list
Edmund Unravels
Written & 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.
Add to list
Kitty Cones: What Makes Us Happy?
Written & 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.
Add to list
The Secret of the Shadow Bandit
Written by Linda Joy Singleton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Kelsey's dad has a new job and that means a new house—on the same property as a castle! Kelsey, Becca, and Leo can't wait to explore, but what they find might lead to their most intricate case yet. How are an abandoned tree house, a wad of cash, a missing heirloom, and a mysterious creature roaming the grounds all connected? The Curious Cat Spy Club is determined to find out!
Honorable Mentions
The Explorer book
Add to list
Yasmin the Explorer book
Add to list
The Little Pioneer book
Add to list
The Amazing Idea of You book
Add to list
  1. The Explorer - From Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winner Katherine Rundell comes an exciting new novel about a group of kids who must survive in the Amazon after their plane crashes. Fred, Con, Lila, and Max are on their way back to England from Manaus when the plane they’re on crashes and the pilot dies upon landing. For days they survive alone, until Fred finds a map that leads them to a ruined city, and to a secret.

  2. Yasmin the Explorer - When Yasmin’s father explains to her about explorers and maps, Yasmin decides to make a map of her neighborhood and she brings it along on a trip to the farmers’ market with her mother—but will the map help her when they are separated?

  3. The Little Pioneer - Perfect for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books, this picture book about one little girl’s journey westward is engaging and appropriate for younger readers. Children of all ages will be captivated by one brave girl’s adventures come to life as she relates the challenges, excitement, and dangers of the American frontier. Filled with drama and gorgeous, evocative illustrations, this first-person tale is a testament to the determination, solidarity, and courage of the early pioneers, each chasing their own American Dream.

  4. The Amazing Idea of You - Fans of Emily Winfield Martin will delight in this loving, gorgeously illustrated story that celebrates new life. Hidden inside every living thing is an idea. That idea can sprout, sing, wriggle, take wing . . . into something amazing! Exploring beginnings both small and great, The Amazing Idea of You bonds the human and natural worlds in a lyrical burst of celebration. So dig deep, fly high, look around, and find the extraordinary inside everything . . . including YOU!

Books About Explorers and Technology

Add to list
Go for the Moon
Written & illustrated by Chris Gall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10
For the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, a step-by-step explanation of how the Apollo 11 spacecraft worked as told by a young enthusiast.The Apollo 11 astronauts have prepared carefully for their attempt to be the first men to land on the moon. The young narrator of this book has prepared carefully, too: he explains the design of the spacecraft, the flight from the earth to the moon, and the drama of touching down - while shadowing the astronaut's voyage with one of his own. Go for the Moon! captures the fascinating detail and inspiring adventure of the moon landing. It is a captivating celebration of one of humankind's greatest technical achievements and most extraordinary feats of exploration.
Add to list
Off the Track
Written by Cristy Burne
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9
From the author of To the Lighthouse comes a new adventure for young readers about falling in love with the bush, and with hiking and being in the wild. It's about disconnecting from technology and discovering yourself. Harry's perfect life was straying way off-track. He looked pleadingly at Mum. Surely she could see? Spending an entire weekend tramping around stinking-hot, snake-filled scrub was a horrible mistake. But doing it without a phone? That was just brutal. As it turns out, it was only the beginning ...
Add to list
Curiosity
Written & illustrated by Markus Motum
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Maybe you remember when a little robotic spacecraft landed on a far-off planet. On August 6, 2012, the rover Curiosity touched down on the rocky surface of Mars—and now she’s ready to guide you through her journey firsthand. From idea to creation and beyond, this fact-filled, stylish book introduces readers to Curiosity and her mission: to discover more about the red planet and search for evidence of life. How did Curiosity get her name? What tools does she use to carry out her tasks? In her own voice, the popular NASA rover tells how and why she traveled more than 350,000,000 miles to explore a planet no human has ever visited . . . and what she’s been doing there. In his debut picture book, Markus Motum brings Curiosity’s story to life in vivid color: the deep blues of space set off the warm, rusted hues of Mars’s dusty red surface, marking this lovable rover and her mission as something special—truly a world apart.
Honorable Mentions
Above and Beyond book
Add to list
A Journey Through Space book
Add to list
When Sparks Fly: The True Story of Robert Goddard, the Father of US Rocketry book
Add to list
Hey Ho, to Mars We'll Go! book
Add to list
  1. Above and Beyond - Since NASA was established in 1958, it has landed rovers on distant planets and launched telescopes deep into space—all so that we can look back to the beginning of time. Through stunning images provided by NASA and fascinating profiles and sidebars of lesser known contributors to the NASA program, young space fans will learn how NASA started, how it faced challenges along the way, how much it has achieved, and how it will continue to move forward in the future. NASA’s boundless curiosity and urge to explore lies at the heart of the human adventure. NASA rises to the urgent challenges we face, using its massive reach and expertise to find answers to vital questions like: How can we learn to live in a more extreme natural environment? Inspired by Rory Kennedy’s documentary of the same name (airing 10/2018), Above and Beyond aims to leave audiences hopeful and inspired about the future of our planet—and convinced that NASA is essential to our continued survival as we mark its important anniversaries and dream of new discoveries to come.

  2. A Journey Through Space - Take a journey from your doorstep into outer space! Zoom through the Solar System, discovering satellites, comets and asteroids along the way. Explore craters on Mars, moon-hop around Jupiter, and get a close-up view of Saturn’s amazing rings. Just don’t travel too close to the Sun! Packed with lively illustrations to reveal our amazing universe, this book is perfect for a parent and child to read together or to explore independently. Includes a dust jacket that doubles up as a poster.

  3. When Sparks Fly: The True Story of Robert Goddard, the Father of US Rocketry - 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.

  4. Hey Ho, to Mars We'll Go! - This musical mission to Mars will have young astronauts talking—and singing—about the science of space travel. Singing astronauts on a mission explore the science behind a trip to Mars, from launch to landing on the Red Planet. Set to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell,” this jaunty journey follows five adorable, bobble-headed astronauts as they learn how to bathe in zero gravity, grow veggies in space, and entertain themselves on the six-month trip. This book defies gravity—text and art float free on the page, encouraging readers to turn the book sideways and upside-down. An interactive, innovative approach to interstellar fun.

Want to see books about technology?

Books About Explorers and Adventure And Adventurers

Add to list
Oliver and the Seawigs
Written by Phillip Reave & illustrated by Sarah McIntyre and Phillip Reave
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
Get ready for moving islands! Mischievous monkeys! And a splashy adventure with illustrations on almost every page. When Oliver’s explorer parents go missing, he sets sail to find them with some new friends. There’s a grumpy albatross, a nearsighted mermaid . . . even a living island! But the high seas are more exciting and strange than Oliver could have imagined. Can he and his crew spar with sarcastic seaweed, outrun an army of sea monkeys, win a fabulous maritime fashion contest, and defeat a wicked sea captain in time to save Mom and Dad? For early chapter book readers who are ready for something longer, the Not-So-Impossible Tales are packed with silly humor, action, and larger-than-life fun.
Add to list
Duck for President
Written by Doreen Cronin & illustrated by Betsy Lewin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
It is our pleasure, our honor, our duty as citizens to present to you Duck for President. Here is a duck who began in a humble pond. Who worked his way to farmer. To governor. And now, perhaps, to the highest office in the land. Some say, if he walks like a duck and talks like a duck, he is a duck. We say, if he walks like a duck and talks like a duck, he will be the next president of the United States of America. Thank you for your vote.
Add to list
Explorers of the Wild
Written & 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.
Honorable Mentions
The Polar Bear Explorers' Club book
Add to list
Charles Darwin's Around-The-World Adventure book
Add to list
The Explorers: The Door in the Alley book
Add to list
The Long Way Home book
Add to list
  1. The Polar Bear Explorers' Club - A precocious young girl is determined to prove herself as an explorer in the first novel in the whimsical Polar Bear Explorers’ Club series. Stella Starflake Pearl knows, without a doubt, that she was born to be an adventurer. It’s too bad girls are forbidden from becoming explorers. But Stella’s father has never been one to play by the rules. Leaving behind her pet polar bear, Gruff, and beloved unicorn, Magic, Stella and Felix set off on an expedition to the snowy Icelands. There, Stella plans to prove herself as a junior explorer, worthy of membership in the Polar Bear Explorers’ Club. So when Stella and three other junior explorers are separated from the rest of their expedition, she has the perfect opportunity. Can they explore the frozen wilderness and live to tell the tale? The first in Alex Bell’s imaginative new series, The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club is a fun and daring adventure filled with magic, outlaws, and fantastic faraway lands.

  2. Charles Darwin's Around-The-World Adventure - In 1831, Charles Darwin embarked on his first voyage. Though he was a scientist by profession, he was an explorer at heart. While journeying around South America for the first time aboard a ninety-foot-long ship named the Beagle, Charles collected insets, dug up bones, galloped with gauchos, encountered volcanoes and earthquakes, and even ate armadillo for breakfast! The discoveries he made during this adventure would later inspire ideas that changed how we see the world.

  3. The Explorers: The Door in the Alley - This is one of those stories that start with a pig in a teeny hat. It’s not the one you’re thinking about. (This story is way better than that one.) This pig-in-a-teeny-hat story starts when a very uninquisitive boy stumbles upon a very mysterious society. After that, there is danger and adventure; there are missing persons, hired thugs, a hidden box, a lost map, and famous explorers; and there is a girl looking for help that only uninquisitive boys can offer. The Explorers: The Door in the Alley is the first book in a series that is sure to hit young readers right in the funny bone

  4. The Long Way Home - Henry Whiskers and his cousin, Jeremy, must find their way back home—Queen Mary’s dollhouse—and to Windsor Castle with the help of a mysterious treasure map in this fun, fast-paced follow up to The Adventures of Henry Whiskers. Little Henry Whiskers is thrilled when he discovers an old, crinkly map, complete with a giant X marking a spot, full of treasure—at least, that’s what Henry thinks. All he knows is that this map is something BIG—he can feel it right down to the tip of his tail. But before he can share his exciting find with his cousin and best friend, Jeremy, they find themselves in the danger zone: The Windsor Castle Kitchen. And after being unceremoniously caught and thrown out of the castle, with nothing but the map, the two little mice realize they have bigger problems than being caught in the kitchen! How will they get back to the dollhouse? With the help of his cousin, Jeremy and a fellow field mouse named Wisely, the cousins battle a hungry falcon, an endless and stormy lake, and the maze of landmarks on the Windsor Castle Grounds as they try to find his way back home—and discover the mysterious map is more connected to the Whiskers family than either of them could have ever imagined.

Books About Explorers and First Concepts

Add to list
Jane Foster's Cities: London
Written by Jane Foster
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Introduce little ones to London in this bold and graphic board book by illustrator and textile designer Jane Foster. In this beautiful and sophisticated board book, children will be introduced to bold images of London, such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge, fish and chips, and more!
Add to list
What Can I Hear?
Written & 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.
Add to list
See Hear
Written by Tania McCartney & illustrated by Jess Racklyeft
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
This innovative flip-format picture book is a sequel to the best-selling and CBCA Notable Book for 2017, Smile Cry. Piglet, Bunny and Cat return in a charming, whimsical sensory adventure that encourages kids to explore the multitude of ways that they can engage with the world around them, particularly via the senses of sight and sound. From watching ‘squiggly rain’ on a window to pointing out ‘heavenly horses’ in the clouds, from hearing ‘buzzing blossoms’ as bees collect pollen and nectar to ‘hot pan sizzles’ as a favourite meal is prepared, See Hear invites us to open our eyes and ears to the everyday magic that surrounds us. Younger kids will respond to the soft whimsical illustrations, while older readers will enjoy the onomatopoeic wordplay. Perfect for ages 3 and up, this is a book that will captivate children and parents alike.
Honorable Mentions
Many Moons book
Add to list
Feathers and Hair, What Animals Wear book
Add to list
Slide and Play: Playful Puppy book
Add to list
Let's Feed the Ducks! book
Add to list
  1. Many Moons - Many Moons explores every phase of the moon through beautiful illustrations, and compares each phase to a different shape, like a waxing moon and a banana! Many Moons shows young children the different phases of the moon, from the new moon to a waning crescent, with a variety of beautiful, bright illustrations. Each spread features a specific phase of the moon, and compares it to different shapes, such as a cat’s tail, a banana, or a brilliant smile. The night sky is vast and beautiful, and to many children, a mysterious thing full of wonder. Why not nurture this sense of early curiosity? Many Moons introduces children to basic astronomy. Understanding the moon is a jumping off point to learning about the stars, space, the ocean tides, and so much more

  2. Feathers and Hair, What Animals Wear - 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!

  3. Slide and Play: Playful Puppy - Let’s play with Puppy! In Slide and Play: Playful Puppy, kids will discover the colorful outdoors as they follow Puppy as he explores. With sliding motions on every page, kids can slide to reveal a playful companion for Puppy. With brilliantly colorful illustrations and an adorable Puppy character, Slide and Play: Playful Puppy is an interactive learning adventure.

  4. Let's Feed the Ducks! - When a brother and sister go on a walk to feed the ducks, they come across many different animals with different sounds—but where are the quacking ducks? Young readers will learn to identify and connect different animals and sounds in this delightful and engaging story.

Books About Explorers and History

Add to list
The Quest for Z
Written & 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.
Add to list
Darwin's Voyage of Discovery
Written & illustrated by Jake Williams
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
Sail with Charles Darwin on The Beagle—and watch as he makes discoveries that change the world. Step on board The Beagle and follow the remarkable five-year long journey—from England to Cape Verde, Brazil to the Galapagos, Tahiti to Australia—that inspired our modern knowledge of the natural world. Discover the wildlife Charles Darwin encounters as he does scientific research: giant sloths, platypus, tarantulas, fireflies and more. Along with gorgeous artwork and information on the groundbreaking voyage itself, this book includes cross-sections of the ship.
Add to list
Karl, Get Out of the Garden!
Written by Anita Sanchez & 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!
Honorable Mentions
Lift Your Light a Little Higher book
Add to list
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Viking Explorer! book
Add to list
Sir Francis Drake: His Daring Deeds book
Add to list
Time Dogs: Seaman and the Great Northern Adventure book
Add to list
  1. Lift Your Light a Little Higher - The story of Stephen Bishop, a slave and early explorer and guide at Mammoth Cave, Kentucky.

  2. You Wouldn't Want to Be a Viking Explorer! - Will you survive this arduous voyage in a fragile open boat? This interactive series will enthrall young and reluctant readers by making them part of the story, inviting them to become the main character. Each book uses humorous illustrations to depict the sometimes dark and horrific side of life during important eras in history. It is the late 10th century, and you are one of a hardy band of young adventurers who plan to sail all the way from Scandinavia to Vinland in North America.

  3. Sir Francis Drake: His Daring Deeds - Retells in poetry the daring adventures of the explorer who was the first Englishman to sail around the world; helped to defeat the Spanish Armada; and who, encouraged by Queen Elizabeth I, was a feared pirate in his time.

  4. Time Dogs: Seaman and the Great Northern Adventure - An exciting new illustrated chapter book series for dog-loving readers! When a pack of senior dogs find themselves transported back in time—and turned into puppies!—they must make their way back home, helping real-life historical dogs along the way. In this second adventure, Baxter, Trevor, Newton, Titch, and Maia—the time dogs!—find themselves transported through time and space to 1805 on the Missouri River. There, deep in the wilderness, the puppies must help Seaman, the dog of legendary explorers Lewis and Clark.

Books About Explorers and America

Add to list
Old MacDonald Had a Farm in Oregon
Written by Forrest Everett & illustrated by Mary Sergeeva
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Old MacDonald had a farm . . . in Oregon! In this delightful Oregon twist on the familiar farm tune, the sea lion goes bark bark here, the beaver goes chuck chuck there, and everywhere's there's lots of Oregon pride. This chunky layered board book cleverly reveals each Oregon animal and, when closed, forms an adorable pickup truck! Friendly Oregon animals and scenery fill the pages of this irresistible book for kids.
Add to list
Major Impossible (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #9)
Written by Nathan Hale
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The ninth book in the bestselling series tells the story of John Wesley Powell, the one-armed geologist who explored the Grand Canyon John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) always had the spirit of adventure in him. As a young man, he traveled all over the United States exploring. When the Civil War began, Powell went to fight for the Union, and even after he lost most of his right arm, he continued to fight until the war was over. In 1869 he embarked with the Colorado River Exploring Expedition, ten men in four boats, to float through Grand Canyon. Over the course of three months, the explorers lost their boats and supplies, nearly drowned, and were in peril on multiple occasions. Ten explorers went in, only six came out. Powell would come to be known as one of the most epic explorers in history! Equal parts gruesome and hilarious, this latest installment in the bestselling series takes readers on an action-packed adventure through American history.
Add to list
Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos
Written & illustrated by Stephanie Roth Sisson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
For every child who has ever looked up at the stars and asked, "What are they?" comes the story of a curious boy who never stopped wondering: Carl Sagan. When Carl Sagan was a young boy he went to the 1939 World's Fair and his life was changed forever. From that day on he never stopped marveling at the universe and seeking to understand it better. Star Stuff follows Carl from his days star gazing from the bedroom window of his Brooklyn apartment, through his love of speculative science fiction novels, to his work as an internationally renowned scientist who worked on the Voyager missions exploring the farthest reaches of space. This book introduces the beloved man who brought the mystery of the cosmos into homes across America to a new generation of dreamers and star gazers.
Honorable Mentions
Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus book
Add to list
John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall book
Add to list
  1. Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus - Illus. in full color. The 15th century comes alive in this splendidly original picture book about Christopher Columbus. “The illustrations, executed in a variety of media, show scenes from the explorer’s life as well as some imaginary creatures that populated the Europeans’ picture of the outside world at that time. The details on each page invite individual readers to pay close attention, but the brief, clear text and framed illustrations lend themselves equally well to group sharing. Make room on your crowded Columbus shelf for this one.”—(starred) School Library Journal.

  2. John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall - 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.

Want to see books about America?

Books About Explorers and The Ocean

Add to list
Inky's Amazing Escape
Written by Sy Montgomery & 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.
Add to list
A First Book of the Sea
Written by Nicola Davies & 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.
Add to list
Flying Deep Climb Inside Deep Sea Submersible ALVIN
Written by Michelle A. Cusolito & illustrated by Nicole Wong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
Climb aboard Alvin, the famous deep-sea submersible credited with helping to find the Titanic, and take a trip two miles down to the bottom of the ocean. Experience a day in the life of an Alvin pilot, diving two miles down to explore the seafloor, collect samples, and conduct research. Along the way, discover what one wears, eats, and talks about during a typical eight-hour trip in a underwater craft, and find out more about the animals that live deep in our oceans. In expressive, poetic language and gorgeous illustrations, the mysteries of the deep sea are revealed. Backmatter includes an author's note about researching this book, a glossary, and suggested further reading.
Honorable Mentions
Little Explorers: Under the Sea book
Add to list
The Sinking of the Vasa book
Add to list
Great White Shark Adventure book
Add to list
Island in the Salish Sea book
Add to list
  1. Little Explorers: Under the Sea - Introducing the next book in the LITTLE EXPLORERS series, an interactive nonfiction series for curious youngsters. With more than 30 flaps, UNDER THE SEA provides little ones with hands-on fun! UNDER THE SEA is a lively introduction to all types of sea creatures, where children can lift the flaps to learn about all types of amazing animals and the environment they live in. Young readers will be amazed as they find out all about the coral reef, open ocean, endangered animals, shipwrecks, and much much more! This book features over 30 sturdy flaps to lift, along with charming, kid-friendly artwork that introduces new concepts and vocabulary in a simple and accessible way.

  2. The Sinking of the Vasa - Newbery Medalist Freedman explores the mystery of the sinking of the great Swedish warship, the “Vasa, “ on her maiden voyage in 1628, and her resurrection from the seas centuries later. Full color.

  3. Great White Shark Adventure - Two young explorers join Fabien Cousteau and his team to get up close and personal with great white sharks in this start to a series of graphic adventure novels. Junior explorers Bella and Marcus join famed explorer Fabien Cousteau and his research team as they embark on an ocean journey off the coast of South Africa, where the world’s largest concentrations of great white sharks are found. Their mission is to investigate a sighting of a massive white shark, and tag it so they can track and protect it. Along the way, they’ll encounter whales, seals, dolphins, penguins, and a colorful array of other marine life. They’ll also enter a shark cage and come face to face with these powerful creatures. Dramatic, graphic illustrations and a compelling story help young readers discover tons of facts about sharks and other marine creatures. Children will also learn the many damaging myths about sharks, why they are so misunderstood, and what is being done to protect them from further exploitation and possible extinction.

  4. Island in the Salish Sea - This gorgeously illustrated picture book is a celebration of summer vacation and West Coast island life. Every day is different on Gran’s island in the Salish Sea as granddaughter climbs big-leaf maples, eats blackberries, explores tide pools and sandstone caves and examines ancient middens and petroglyphs. She and Gran watch harbor seals sunning themselves and Gran’s neighbor carving an eagle out of a piece of cedar while drinking fresh nettle tea. And on her way home, our young narrator sees a pod of orcas, breaching,tail lobbing and spy-hopping as she says goodbye to the island for another summer.

Want to see books about the ocean?

Books About Explorers and Imagination And Play

Add to list
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole
Written by Mac Barnett & 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.
Add to list
Return
Written & 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.
Add to list
I am a Kitten
Written by Ole Risom & illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
The beloved board book I am a Kitten is back—fully reillustrated and ready to be embraced by a new generation of children. Join Kate, a curious kitten, as she plays with her brothers and sisters, explores the garden, makes new friends, and more! With simple text and colorful illustrations, this sweet story about a day in the life of a kitten will be popular with very young children.
Honorable Mentions
Above San Francisco book
Add to list
Big Foot and Little Foot (Book #1) book
Add to list
Ladybug Girl's Day Out with Grandpa book
Add to list
Treasure book
Add to list
  1. Above San Francisco - Join young Cam as he explores San Francisco from Above. His imagination affords him the flight of a lifetime as he takes off from his neighborhood of Painted Ladies and soars high above the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, the Transamerica Building, the constant and mysterious fog, crooked Lombard Street, the Ferry Building and more! The beloved photographs of Robert Cameron and his hometown of San Francisco take on a child-like wonder when viewed through the eyes of Cam.

  2. Big Foot and Little Foot (Book #1) - Hugo is a young Sasquatch who longs for adventure. Boone is young boy who longs to see a Sasquatch. When their worlds collide, they become the unlikeliest pair of best friends. At the Academy for Curious Squidges, Hugo learns all manner of Sneaking—after all, the most important part of being a Sasquatch is staying hidden from humans. But Hugo dreams of roaming free in the Big Wide World rather than staying cooped up in caves. When he has an unexpected run-in with a young human boy, Hugo seizes the opportunity for a grand adventure. Soon, the two team up to search high and low for mythical beasts, like Ogopogos and Snoot-Nosed Gints. Through discovering these new creatures, together, Big Foot and Little Foot explore the ins and outs of each other’s very different worlds but learn that, deep down, maybe they’re not so different after all.

  3. Ladybug Girl's Day Out with Grandpa - 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.

  4. Treasure - When two siblings go on a treasure hunt, they aren’t sure exactly what kind of treasure they are looking for. What they do know is that treasures are shiny, mysterious and precious. And that all the really good treasures are hidden! As they explore the forest, their curiosity pays off when they find the biggest, shiniest, most mysterious and precious treasure hidden just over a hill. Told exclusively in dialogue, this beautifully illustrated picture book exudes a sense of wonder at the natural world and emphasizes the magical qualities of looking through a child’s eye.

Books About Explorers and Family

Add to list
How to Babysit a Grandpa
Written by Jean Reagan & illustrated by Lee Wildish
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
A New York Times bestselling picture book—from the creators of the hilarious HOW TO… series—about a child spending time with his grandpa. Written in a how-to style, the narrator gives important tips for “babysitting” a grandpa, including what to eat for snack (anything dipped in ketchup, ice cream topped with cookies, cookies topped with ice cream) what to do on a walk (find lizards and dandelion puffs, be on the lookout for puddles and sprinklers), and how to play with a grandpa (build a pirate cave, put on a scary play). Filled with humor, energy, and warmth, this is a great gift for or from a grandparent, and perfect for lap reading when Grandpa comes to visit!
Add to list
Dad and Me in the Morning
Written by Patricia Lakin & illustrated by Robert G. Steele
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Early one morning, a young boy wakes to the light of his alarm clock. He puts on his hearing aids and clothes, then goes to wake his father. Together they brave the cold as they walk down the dirt road that leads to the beach. Lakin's understated story reminds readers that sometimes the best way to communicate doesn't involve words, while Steele's watercolor illustrations show that beauty is never far away.
Add to list
Outside
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Who does this footprint belong to? What is this worm up to? What is the name of this tree? Even if we live in the city, nature is still all around us: clouds and stars, trees and flowers, rocks and beaches, birds, reptiles or mammals. What are we waiting for? Let's jump off the couch and begin exploring! Created in collaboration with a team of Portuguese experts, this book, which won the coveted Bologna Regazzi award, aims to arouse your curiosity about fauna, flora and other aspects of the natural world. It includes suggestions for activities and many illustrations to help the whole family get started, leave the house, and go out to discover - or simply admire - the amazing world that exists outdoors.
Honorable Mentions
The Last Polar Bears (Harry Horse's Last...) book
Add to list
Bright Books: Baby Bear's Busy Day book
Add to list
Ciao, Baby! Ready for a Ride book
Add to list
  1. The Last Polar Bears (Harry Horse's Last...) - Grandfather is off on an expedition to the North Pole to find the Last Polar Bears. Accompanying him is Roo, a remarkable little dog with strong views and a short attention span, and a golf cart full of equipment. The intrepid explorers set sail on the good ship Unsinkable and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Grandfather and Roo endure storms, high seas, a temperamental sea captain, and seasickness until the ship reaches Walrus Bay. In the primitive coastal town of Walrus, Grandfather gets in a game of golf but unscrupulous wolves plague him and Roo. Finally, Grandfather and Roo and a penguin companion head off on foot to find the Great Bear Ridge, home to the Last Polar Bears. Author-illustrator Harry Horse tells this hilarious, original story through a series of affectionate letters written by Grandfather to his grandchild back home. Horse s winsome black ink illustrations capture the charmingly eccentric personalities of Grandfather and his delightful canine companion and the amusing calamities that befall them. The result is a fanciful tale that will delight young and old alike. Stay tuned for more adventures with Grandfather and Roo!

  2. Bright Books: Baby Bear's Busy Day - It’s a busy day for baby bear. Come along as he and his mother explore the wonders of the forest! Join a young bear and his mother for their very busy day in the forest with Bright Books: Baby Bear’s Busy Day. This visually stunning board book features bright neon elements, soft touch-and-feel bears, and shiny foil that will capture baby’s full attention and imagination. With sweet, soothing text and gentle illustrations, this engaging book will become a bedtime favorite. Follow along as baby bear has a day full of fun!

  3. Ciao, Baby! Ready for a Ride - Ciao! A pair of cute and colorful board books from Carole Lexa Schaefer and Lauren Tobia introduce a curious, lovable tot eager to explore the world. Baby and Mamma are going to visit Nonna today. They say good-bye to Papa — Ciao, Papa! — and head out. How will they get there? Roll, roll in the stroller. Beep, beep on the bus. Choo, choo on the train — all the way to Nonna’s. Whee! Ciao, Nonna! Ciao, Baby!

Books About Explorers and Imagination

Add to list
A House That Once Was
Written by Julie Fogliano & illustrated by Lane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
The dynamic duo of Ezra Jack Keats Award–winning author Julie Fogliano and Caldecott Award–winning illustrator Lane Smith team up to tell a delightful story about a boy and a girl who explore an abandoned house and imagine who might have lived there in A House That Once Was. Deep in the woods is a house just a house that once was but now isn’t a home. Who lived in that house? Who walked down its hallways? Why did they leave it, and where did they go? Two children set off to find the answers, piecing together clues found, books left behind, forgotten photos, discarded toys, and creating their own vision of those who came before.
Add to list
Beyond the Pond
Written & illustrated by Joseph Kuefler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A stunning picture book about the power of imagination, perfect for fans of Extra Yarn and Journey, from debut author-illustrator Joseph Kuefler. Just behind an ordinary house filled with too little fun, Ernest D. decides that today will be the day he explores the depths of his pond. Beyond the pond, he discovers a not-so-ordinary world that will change him forever.
Add to list
Make-Believe Class
Written by Fran Manushkin & illustrated by Tammy Lyon and Fran Manushkin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
One cold, gray, winter day, Miss Winkle leads Katie Woo and the rest of her class on an imaginary journey, challenging them to find ways to complete their lessons on a sunny island, under the sea, or on the moon.
Honorable Mentions
The Invisible Garden book
Add to list
Zoe's Jungle book
Add to list
It's an Orange Aardvark! book
Add to list
Rosa Draws book
Add to list
  1. The Invisible Garden - A young girl and her family travel from the city to the country to celebrate her grandmother’s birthday. Someone suggests that Arianne, as the only child at the party, might enjoy exploring the garden more than listening to the adults chat. Arianne is unsure what to do in the quiet garden, and she soon lies down out of boredom. But then she spots a pebble…and a grasshopper…and flies away on a dandelion seed pod into the cosmos as she discovers the freedom of her imagination.

  2. Zoe's Jungle - 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.

  3. It's an Orange Aardvark! - Acclaimed New York Times-bestselling picture book creator Michael Hall delivers a funny and suspenseful story about colors, ants, aardvarks, and rainbows that will appeal to Lois Ehlert fans and fans of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. Another winner from the author of My Heart Is Like a Zoo, Perfect Square, and Cat Tale! Five carpenter ants at home in their tree stump hear a noise. What is it? One ant thinks it is a hungry aardvark lurking outside the stump, just waiting to eat them. One ant makes a hole in the stump to see. Orange light floods the stump—it’s not an aardvark, proclaims the ant chorus. It’s orange! So what is lurking outside the stump? This very funny picture book features die-cut holes on almost every page, suspenseful page turns, a wonderful surprise ending, and an introduction to a rainbow of colors. It’s an Orange Aardvark! is a tour de force for Michael Hall, the acclaimed and bestselling creator of My Heart Is Like a Zoo, Perfect Square, and Cat Tale.

  4. Rosa Draws - Take a fantastical ride through Rosa’s imagination where you’ll meet a purple moose, a very posh goose, a peacock wearing socks and a super-speedy fox! Rosa loves to imagine and she really loves to draw. But as her drawings grow and grow, will they get her into trouble? This delightfully fun story, told with playful text and inventive characters, has a positive message and a heart-warming final twist that will resonate with both children and parents. Perfect for encouraging creativity and exploration in any child who’s ever picked up a pen or pencil.

Books About Explorers and Science And Nature

Add to list
Little Explorers: Dinosaurs
Written & illustrated by Little Bee Books
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Introducing another book in the LITTLE EXPLORERS series, an interactive nonfiction series for curious youngsters. With more than 30 flaps, DINOSAURS provides little ones with hands-on fun! DINOSAURS is a lively introduction to all types of prehistoric dinos. Children can lift the flaps to learn about these amazing dinosaurs and the environments they used to live in, and they will be amazed as they find out all about the biggest, fastest, and most ferocious dinosaurs, and much, much more. This book features over 30 sturdy flaps to lift, along with charming, kid-friendly artwork that introduces new concepts and vocabulary in a simple and accessible way.
Add to list
I am a Mouse
Written by Ole Risom & illustrated by J. P. Miller
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
In 1964, children’s book greats Ole Risom and J.P. Miller teamed to create a beautiful and endearing book about Deedee the mouse. After decades of being unavailable, I am a Mouse is back and ready to be embraced by a whole new generation of children. With a simple text and colorful illustrations, this Golden Sturdy Book is the perfect fit for the little hands of little readers.
Add to list
The Bug Girl
Written by Sarah Glenn Marsh & illustrated by Filippo Vanzo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Maria Sibylla Merian was fascinated with insects. But when Maria was a girl in the mid-1600s, superstitions about bugs prevented most people from taking a close look. People thought bugs were evil--and anyone interested in such creatures was surely evil too. That didn't stop Maria. Filled with curiosity, she began to study and paint them. She even witnessed silkworms form cocoons and transform into moths--discovering metamorphosis! Painting and drawing as she studied, Maria pushed the boundaries of what girls were expected to do, eventually gaining recognition as one of the first entomologists and scientific illustrators. This gorgeously illustrated biography celebrates a fascinating female pioneer who broke boundaries in both the arts and sciences.
Honorable Mentions
Baby Paleontologist book
Add to list
The Forest book
Add to list
  1. Baby Paleontologist - Baby Scientist is an adorable board book series that brings fun, accessible science concepts to baby’s world using simple language, recognizable settings, and vibrant art. Read them all with your baby scientist! Baby Paleontologist digs for fossils. With his pickax and brush, he discovers plants and animals that lived long, long ago. What stories do fossils tell? What did dinosaurs look like? Find out with Baby Paleontologist! Don’t miss the other books in this series, including Baby Oceanographer, Baby Astronaut, and Baby Botanist!

  2. The Forest - A lyrical book about the adventure of life, The Forest is also a magnificent visual work, both painterly and a technical feat of paper engineering. Here, sensory experience and the textures of the material world are rendered through die-cuts, embossing, cutouts, and two gatefolds. A beautifully considered work.

Books About Explorers and Outer Space

Add to list
Midnight on the Moon
Written by Mary Pope Osborne & illustrated by Sal Murdocca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
The magic treehouse takes Jack and Annie to a moon base in the future where they continue to search for the fourth thing they need to free their friend Morgan from the magician's spell.
Add to list
Life on Mars
Written & illustrated by Jon Agee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
In this sneaky, silly picture book for fans of Oliver Jeffers and Jon Klassen, an intrepid-but not so clever-space explorer is certain he's found the only living thing on Mars. A young astronaut is absolutely sure there is life to be found on Mars. He sets off on a solitary mission, determined to prove the naysayers wrong. But when he arrives, equipped with a package of cupcakes as a gift, he sees nothing but a nearly barren planet. Finally, he spies a single flower and packs it away to take back to Earth as proof that there is indeed life on Mars. But as he settles in for the journey home, he cracks open his cupcakes-only to discover that someonehas eaten them all! Readers will love being in on the secret- Unbeknownst to the explorer, a Martian has been wandering through the illustrations the whole time-and he got himself a delicious snack along the way.
Add to list
Bizzy Bear: Space Rocket
Written by Nosy Crow & 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!
Honorable Mentions
To the Stars! book
Add to list
Kitty Cones: The Purrfect Day book
Add to list
Crash Course book
Add to list
  1. To the Stars! - Kathy Sullivan wanted to go everywhere. She loved blueprints and maps. She loved languages and the ocean. She didn’t like the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” She wanted to explore and do exciting things that girls weren’t supposed to be able to do. Only men had the exciting jobs. Kathy liked fishing and swimming; flying planes and studying science. That’s what she liked and that’s what she decided to do with her life. She followed her heart and eventually became a NASA astronaut and the first woman to walk in space. Kathy wanted to see the whole world and so she did: from space!

  2. Kitty Cones: The Purrfect Day - Explore the town of Kitty Bay Harbor and beyond with best friend kitties Miyu, Yumi, and Koko in the first of this playful illustrated series! Miyu, Yumi, and Koko live above the best ice cream parlor in Kitty Bay Harbor. Whether it’s fishing for breakfast, floating through the Milky Way, or riding the roller coasters on Coney Island (caution, may result in hairballs), these kittens know how to have a good time. Follow them as they explore the entire galaxy, both inside and outside of their ice cream cone homes!

  3. Crash Course - Guardians of the Galaxymeets Minecraft in this hilarious sci-fi series for middle grade readers.a TERRAFORMING 101 - Learn the basics of FARMING IN SPACE!! Open to first year students.a For eleven-year-old Elara, life at the Academy of Terraforming Arts is a lot tougher-and stranger-than she expected. Her latest experiment accidentally blew up the moon. Her roommate, Clare, is a mute intergalactic sponge. And no one at her new school knows what it’s like to grow up on a planet called “Nowhere.” But if the greatest Planetary Designers in the galaxy made it through their first year, then so can she. Based on the real science behind terraforming, this action-packed story mixes world-building adventures with side-splitting humor, plus a dash of intergalactic madness.

Books About Explorers and Animals

Add to list
Bunny Hopwell's First Spring
Written & 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!
Add to list
Daylight Starlight Wildlife
Written & 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.
Add to list
Tracks in the Snow
Written & illustrated by Wong Herbert Yee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
A little girl investigates tracks in the snow, trying to determine what could have made them.
Honorable Mentions
The Bug Book book
Add to list
Ready, Set, Sail! book
Add to list
  1. The Bug Book - 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.

  2. Ready, Set, Sail! - 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!

Books About Explorers and The Five Senses

Add to list
Bugs
Written by Carol Lawrence & illustrated by Francesco Zito
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
What are bugs? Are all bugs insects? What role do they play in our world? Baby Explorer encourages little ones to explore the world around them, through their five senses of seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, or tasting.
Add to list
What Can I Feel?
Written & 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.
Add to list
Rain
Written & 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!
Honorable Mentions
Wind book
Add to list
Sun book
Add to list
  1. Wind - 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!

  2. Sun - 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!

Suggested Links