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Hotels And Motels: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about hotels and motels?

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

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. 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.

When it comes to children’s stories about hotels and motels, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Penultimate Peril to popular sellers like The Mouse and the Motorcycle to some of our favorite hidden gems like A True Home.

We hope this list of kids books about hotels and motels 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.

Madame Badobedah
Written by Sophie Dahl & illustrated by Lauren O'Hara
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Who is Madame Badobedah? Mabel sets out to prove that an eccentric new hotel guest is really a supervillain in this witty storybook about an intergenerational friendship.

There’s a strange new guest at the Mermaid Hotel — a very old lady with a growly voice, bags stuffed with jewelry and coins and curiosities, and a beady-eyed pet tortoise. Mabel, whose parents run the hotel, is suspicious. Who is this “Madame Badobedah” (it rhymes with “Oo la la”) who has come to stay indefinitely and never has any visitors? To find out, Mabel puts on her spy costume and observes the new guest. Conclusion? She must be a secret supervillain hiding out from the law. The grown-ups think Madame Badobedah is a bit rude — and sad — but when she invites “dahlink” Mabel for a cup of forbidden tea and a game of pirates, the two begin a series of imaginary adventures together, and Mabel realizes that first impressions can sometimes be very wrong. Conjuring two quirky heroines that young readers will love, Sophie Dahl adds her talented voice to a grand tradition of books that celebrate the alliance of the old and young in the face of humdrum adults, while Lauren O’Hara’s illustrations are as packed with intriguing details as Madame Badobedah’s suitcases.

I Dream of a Journey
Written & illustrated by Akiko Miyakoshi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Akiko Miyakoshi’s enchanting picture book explores how an innkeeper who spends his days at the crossroads of others’ journeys secretly longs to have adventures of his own.

People from all over the world come and go at the innkeeper’s little hotel. He enjoys meeting them, and many even become his friends. Only, sometimes, when he goes to sleep at night, the desire to travel far away himself wells up inside him. He dreams of packing a big bag and journeying wherever he pleases, from one unfamiliar town to another. He imagines stopping to visit friends and having wonderful and unexpected experiences. The innkeeper continues to go about his daily routine at his hotel, but, someday, he is sure, he will explore the world.

This beautiful picture book from multi-award-winning and internationally best-selling author-illustrator Akiko Miyakoshi thoughtfully speaks to the common experience of longing for something new and exciting, while feeling comfort in the familiar. The artwork’s muted colors and soft focus give it a dreamlike quality and, paired with the spare, simple text, invokes wonder, leaving many questions open to interpretation. This book perfectly captures the feeling of wanderlust, of being curious about the world, wanting to see other places and how other people live. It could ignite intriguing conversations with children about what they long to do. Its message is also likely to resonate with adults.

A True Home
Written by Kallie George & illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

When Mona the Mouse stumbles across the wondrous world of the Heartwood Hotel in the middle of a storm, she desperately hopes they’ll let her stay. As it turns out, Mona is precisely the maid they need at the grandest hotel in Fernwood Forest, where animals come from far and wide for safety, luxury, and comfort. But the Heartwood Hotel is not all acorn soufflé and soft moss-lined beds. Danger lurks, and as it approaches, Mona finds that this hotel is more than a warm place to spend the night. It might also be a home.

This delightfully enticing start of a new chapter book series tells a tale of friendship, courage, and community, with exquisite black-and-white illustrations throughout. Praise for the Magical Animal Adoption Agency series “[This] gentle tale of magic and self-reliance will entertain confident new independent readers. Clover’s sweet story is a good next step for lovers of the Magic Tree House.” -Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will be envious of the world of magic that Clover becomes ensconced in and eager to read future installments.” -Publishers Weekly

“[A] charming story, delicately written, with a winning heroine. . . [and] a conclusion that will satisfy young readers.” -Booklist Online

“Graduates of sparkly chapter-book series will be right at home and looking for the next installment posthaste.” -Kirkus Reviews “[T]he gentle but intrepid Clover continues to charm.” -Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

The Penultimate Peril
Written by Lemony Snicket & illustrated by Michael Kupperman and Brett Helquist
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Lemony Snicket returns with the last book before the last book of his bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events. Scream and run away before the secrets of the series are revealed!

Very little is known about Lemony Snicket and A Series of Unfortunate Events. What we do know is contained in the following brief list:

  • The books have inexplicably sold millions and millions of copies worldwide
  • People in more than 40 countries are consumed by consuming Snicket
  • The movie was as sad as the books, if not more so
  • Like unrefrigerated butter and fungus, the popularity of these books keeps spreading

Even less is known about book the twelfth in this alarming phenomenon. What we do know is contained in the following brief list:

  • In this book, things only get worse
  • Count Olaf is still evil
  • The Baudelaire orphans do not win a contest
  • The title begins with the word ‘The’

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

Be Our Guest!
Written & illustrated by Gray Malin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From Gray Malin, New York Times bestselling photographer of Beaches, comes Be Our Guest!, Malin’s first children’s picture book, compiled from his acclaimed series of photographs at the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs. Welcome to the Parker Hotel, where you’ll experience a delightful time away, filled with everything you’d expect from a sunny, California vacation. There’s tennis courts and a lemonade stand, a gorgeous pool, and a lawn for croquet. But, the other guests and staff are more than a little unexpected . . . If Eloise had lived in an animal-only hotel, it would have had the style and whimsy of the Parker. Just reading Be Our Guest! will whisk children away on a temporary holiday, which is nothing less than extraordinary.

  • Fabio The World's Greatest Flamingo Detective: The Case of the Missing Hippo - This hilarious, brightly illustrated chapter book starring Fabio the flamingo detective and his sidekick Gilbert the giraffe is perfect for fans of CatStronauts and The Bad Guys. In a small town on the banks of Lake Laloozee lives the world’s greatest flamingo detective. His name is Fabio. He’s not tall or strong, but slight and pink. And he’s very, very clever. When Fabio and his giraffe associate Gilbert drop in to the Hotel Royale for a relaxing glass of lemonade (pink, naturally), Fabio is persuaded to judge the hotel’s talent contest. But when the most promising contestant—Julia the jazz-singing hippopotamus—goes missing, Fabio must put his thinking cap back on and solve the mystery! Don’t miss these other books from Laura James! The Pug series Captain Pug Cowboy Pug Safari Pug

  • The Trail of the Ghost Bunny - Kelsey and her family have moved into an abandoned B&B that they’re fixing up. It’s a beautiful place and it even comes with its own bunny…but it also seems to come with its own ghost. With the help of their new bunny friend, Kelsey and her friends and CCSC clubmates Becca and Leo investigate the true source of the mysterious on-goings at the B&B. This story closes out the series in a satisfying way, and includes a very light ghost plot that feels seasonally appropriate. And animal fans will be thrilled to see plenty new animal capers, including the return of the lovable dogs from book 5, Dog-Gone Danger.

  • The Hotel Between - A magical hotel, a mysterious tree, and a cryptic story about their missing father leads twins Cam and Cass on a worldly adventure in this enchanting debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and Wildwood. Twins Cam and Cass have never known their parents. They’ve been told their mother died, and Cass is certain their father abandoned them. Cam isn’t so sure. He wants to prove her wrong; he must. Cam’s wish is soon granted in the form of a glistening, golden sign with elaborate flourishes that reads: The Hotel Between. With doors that open to countries all over the world, magical trollies, charmed corridors that can be altered on a whim, stone elephants that turn to life, sweets made from rocks; everything is possible in The Hotel. Cam has a hunch his father is somehow connected to this magical place, and may even be lost within its hidden halls. Every journey has its risks, and The Hotel Between is full of dangerous secrets. If Cam’s not careful, his stay may be over before his vacation has even started.

  • Withering-by-Sea - A stalwart orphan sets out on a spine-tingling adventure in this wildly imaginative and darkly funny Victorian middle grade novel. High on a cliff above the gloomy Victorian town of Withering-by-Sea stands the Hotel Majestic. Inside the walls of the damp, dull hotel, eleven-year-old orphan Stella Montgomery leads a miserable life with her three dreadful aunts. Stella dreams of adventuring on the Amazon—or anyplace, really, as long as it isn’t this dreary town where nothing ever happens. Then one night Stella sees something she shouldn’t have. Soon she finds herself on the run from terrifying Professor Stark and his gang of thugs. But how can one young girl outwit an evil magician, much less rescue his poor, mistreated assistant? With the help of a mysterious maestro, his musical cats, and a lively girl named Gert, Stella Montgomery sets out to do the impossible.

The Secrets of Winterhouse
Written by Ben Guterson & illustrated by Chloe Bristol
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-11

Back at the Winterhouse hotel for another holiday season, Elizabeth and Freddy dig deeper into the mystery surrounding Riley S. Granger, a hotel guest who left behind odd artifacts―one being a magical book that the evil Gracella Winters once attempted to use to gain destructive power over the entire Falls lineage. The two friends follow a trail of clues, inadvertently attracting the attention of a suspicious new hotel guest: Elana Vesper. The clock is ticking as Elizabeth and Freddy struggle to figure out whether Elana is merely a pawn or a player in the plot to revive the spirit of Gracella. If that wasn’t enough, Elizabeth suspects she is coming into her own special powers―and she’s fearful it might lead her right into Gracella’s vicious web. Mystery, adventure, and a winning friendship combine in this much anticipated sequel.

Greenglass House
Written by Kate Milford & illustrated by Jaime Zollars
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

At Greenglass House, a smuggler’s inn, 12-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his winter holidays relaxing, but soon guests begin arriving with strange stories about the house, sending Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, on an adventure. Simultaneous eBook.

Ralph S. Mouse
Written by Beverly Cleary & illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this third and final Mouse novel from Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary, Ralph heads to school to see what humans do all day . . . and to discover what the “S” in Ralph S. Mouse stands for!

With his rowdy cousins constantly wearing out his motorcycle and the Mountain View Inn manager threatening to take care of the mouse infestation once and for all, Ralph decides it’s time to get away for a while. He convinces his human friend Ryan to take him along to school, where Ralph instantly becomes the center of attention. But when Ryan’s class decides to see how smart Ralph is by making him run a maze, the usually confident mouse starts to fret. What if he’s not as clever as he thought?

The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Written by Beverly Cleary
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“Boy!” said Ralph to himself, his whiskers quivering with excitement. “Boy, oh boy!” Feeling that this was an important moment in his life, he took hold of the handgrips. They felt good and solid beneath his paws. Yes, this motorcycle was a good machine all right. Ralph the mouse ventures out from behind the piney knothole in the wall of his hotel-room home, scrambles up the telephone wire to the end table, and climbs aboard the toy motorcycle left there by a young guest. His thrill ride does not last long. The ringing telephone startles Ralph, and he and the motorcycle take a terrible fall - right to the bottom of a metal wastebasket. Luckily, Keith, the owner of the motorcycle, returns to find his toy. Keith rescues Ralph and teaches him how to ride the bike. Thus begins a great friendship and many awesome adventures. Once a mouse can ride a motorcyle … almost anything can happen!

There's a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor
Written by Wade Bradford & illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The outcome is anything but predictable when an exhausted hotel guest sets out in search of sleep in this kid-pleasing romp full of visual humor. Will Mr. Snore ever get some shut-eye at the busy Sharemore Hotel? The room on the first floor is too noisy. The room on the second floor is too crowded. The room on the third floor is too damp. Everywhere Mr. Snore goes, with a dutiful bellhop leading the way, he encounters something that’s bound to keep him awake. Why is it so hard to find some peace and quiet? Perhaps Mr. Snore will have better luck on the thirteenth floor. . . . From author and playwright Wade Bradford and award-winning illustrator Kevin Hawkes comes a laugh-out-loud tale that plays with expectations and revelations — and reveals a surprisingly thought-provoking final twist.

  • Eloise - Meet Eloise, the precocious darling of the Plaza Hotel! Eloise is a little girl who lives at The Plaza Hotel in New York. She is not yet pretty but she is already a Person. Henry James would want to study her. Queen Victoria would recognize her as an Equal. The New York Jets would want to have her on their side. Lewis Carroll would love her (once he got over the initial shock). She knows everything about The Plaza. She is interested in people when they are not boring. She has Inner Resources. If you take her home with you, you will always be glad you did.

  • Chasing Helicity - Helicity is well aware that her name is unusual - kind of like Helicity herself. The word Helicity means to spin, and for as long as she can remember, Helicity has been fascinated by the weather. The weather is Helicity’s escape from her own reality - may that be school, her father’s strict discipline, or her brother’s imminent departure for college where he’s all set to play football. One fateful day, Helicity and her horse head out on a long ride to take a break from life at home. Even with her vast experience with weather, Helicity is unprepared for the elements she faces. The choices Helicity makes before, during, and after that storm will have a lasting effect on her family and her future.

  • The Elevator Family - The four members of the Wilson family decide to spend their holiday in one of the elevators at the San Francisco Hotel.

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

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