Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to imaginary places. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about imaginary places.
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.
When it comes to children’s stories about imaginary places, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Secret of Platform 13 to popular sellers like The Wizard of Oz to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles.
We hope this list of kids books about imaginary places 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.
The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals — the ten-legged Sidewinders, the little furry Flukes, the friendly Whiffle Bird, and the treacherous, “oily” Prock. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with “peace, love and a sense of fun”— apart from and forgotten by people. But not completely forgotten. Professor Savant believed in the Whangdoodle. And when he told the three Potter children of his search for the spectacular creature, Lindy, Tom, and Ben were eager to reach Whangdoodleland. With the Professor’s help, they discovered the secret way. But waiting for them was the scheming Prock, who would use almost any means to keep them away from his beloved king. Only by skill and determination were the four travelers able to discover the last of the really great Whangdoodles and grant him his heart’s desire. Julie Andrews Edwards, star of stage and screen, has written a unique and beloved story that has become a modern classic. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is sure to continue to delight readers everywhere. This edition includes a new foreword by the author.
With breathtaking painterly illustrations, a deeply enchanting story, and a foreword written by celebrated dancer Misty Copeland, this picture book brings The Nutcracker and the Four Realms to life in a brand-new way. As the adventure from the film jumps off of the screen and onto the page, a new generation of readers and fans will be drawn in and enchanted by the holiday spirit, the beauty of dance, and the magic of storytelling.
“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
Join Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and the Darling children on their epic adventure! Filled with interactive wheels and pull-tabs, and lavishly illustrated, Lit for Little Hands: Peter Pan is an unprecedented kid’s introduction to J. M. Barrie’s beloved classic novel. Unlike many board books that tackle the classics, Lit for Little Hands tells the actual story in simple, engaging prose. Gorgeous and whimsical illustrations transport the reader to Neverland, while tons of interactive elements invite kids to help Peter catch his shadow, battle swashbuckling pirates, and, of course, fly! Fans of the novel will be delighted by the book’s attention to detail and clever use of original text and dialogue. And the book’s super-sturdy board means everyone can enjoy this tale over . . . and over . . . and over again! You’ll never have to grow up!
There’s more to the story than just lions, tigers, and bears – there are also so many colors to explore! From the wicked witch and her evil black dress, to the good witch Glinda and her bright pink socks, you’ll find all of the familiar characters of Oz decked out in brilliant technicolor!
Marian called it Roxaboxen. (She always knew the name of everything.) There across the road, it looked like any rocky hill — nothing but sand and rocks, some old wooden boxes, cactus and greasewood and thorny ocotillo — but it was a special place: a sparkling world of jeweled homes, streets edged with the whitest stones, and two ice cream shops. Come with us there, where all you need to gallop fast and free is a long stick and a soaring imagination. In glowing desert hues, artist Barbara Cooney has caught the magic of Alice McLerran’s treasured land of Roxaboxen — a place that really was, and, once you’ve been there, always is.
Peter Pan - BabyLit is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature, and little ones will love Peter Pan: A BabyLit Adventure Primer. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and adorable illustrations by Sugar’s Alison Oliver, this book is a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library. Collect all of the classic literature-inspired BabyLit primers!
A Dark Descent - Glinda and her friends have successfully vanquished Aphidina, the first of the four Wicked Witches. But her task is far from over. With the fate of all of Oz hanging in the balance, Glinda struggles to locate a mysterious teacher called Mythra, who is the only one who can guide her in reaching her mystic potential and becoming the powerful Sorceress she is destined to be. While Glinda searches far and wide for her mentor, the fiery-spirited Locasta finds herself undertaking an equally important search—for the Elemental Fairy of Lurl, and the means by which to destroy the second Witch, Marada, Wicked Warrior of the North. Surprising discoveries await both Glinda and Locasta. Great dangers threaten, formidable enemies lurk, and startling secrets abound. Glinda, Locasta, Ben, and Shade bravely continue their mission teaming up with some very welcome—and very unexpected—allies along the way. Together they prove that there is no hope for the future if one is not willing to learn from the past
A Week Without Tuesday - A charming adventure full of magic and mystery, set in the land where stories come from. Something is broken in the land of story. Real and imaginary worlds are colliding—putting everything and everyone in grave peril. Tuesday and Baxterr, at the request of the Librarian, and with the help of Vivienne Small, venture to find the Gardener—the one person who can stop this catastrophe. On their way, they’ll meet friends and foes, and discover strengths they didn’t know they had. Will they be able to save the land of story?
Casper Tock and the Everdark Wings - From bestselling author Abi Elphinstone comes a wondrous new series about four secret unmapped kingdoms hidden in our own world! Casper Tock hates risks and is allergic to adventures. So it comes as a nasty shock to him one day when he hides from bullies in an ancient grandfather clock—and ends up finding an entire world inside. Casper discovers that this sky kingdom of Rumblestar is one of the four Unmapped Kingdoms in charge of controlling the weather in Casper’s own world. What’s more, Casper is now stuck in Rumblestar, and the only person there who doesn’t think he’s a demon spy is a strange girl named Utterly, who hates rules and is allergic to behaving. All Casper wants is to find his way home, but Rumblestar is in trouble. An evil harpy called Morg is trying to steal the magic of the Unmapped Kingdoms. And if these kingdoms fall, Casper’s world will be destroyed as well. And so, together with Utterly and her miniature dragon, Arlo, Casper embarks on a quest full of cloud giants, storm ogres, and drizzle hags. Can he, Utterly, and Arlo—the unlikeliest of heroes—save both their worlds from the clutches of Morg?
Welcome to Zoone: crossroads of the multiverse. In this inventive fantasy, fans of Diana Wynne Jones and Lisa McMann will step through an enchanted doorway and into a world filled with infinite portals to new—and sometimes perilous—lands.
When a bright blue winged tiger appears on his aunt’s sofa, Ozzie can tell he’s in for an adventure. He’s thrilled to follow Tug—a skyger—through a secret door in the basement and into Zoone, the bustling Grand Central Station of the universe, where a thousand doors act as portals to strange and wonderful worlds.
But some doors also hide dangers—and when the portal back to Earth explodes behind him, Ozzie gets more adventure than he bargained for. In a station full of wizards, creepy-crawlies, and the occasional cursed princess, Ozzie has to find a way to repair his door… and possibly save the multiverse in the process.
Brimming with colorful characters, magical mayhem, and endless adventure, this new tween series has a doorway for every reader—just be sure to close the door behind you!
The struggle for power heats up in book two of this heart-stopping adventure series about siblings with magical shapeshifter powers, from New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman. After the fateful battle between the ice wolves and the scorch dragons, Anders and his twin sister, Rayna, have been reunited. But there’s no time to celebrate. The temperature all over Vallen is starting to drop. And Anders quickly learns that the wolves have stolen a weather-altering artifact called the Snowstone, and every dragon, including Rayna, is now in danger. Desperate to broker peace, Anders enlists the help of a few new flame-breathing friends to stop the wolves’ next plan of attack. Together, these former rivals must go on a dangerous quest to find the scattered pieces of the Sun Scepter, the only artifact that can counteract the Snowstone. Because if either device goes unchecked, all hope for a truce will be lost.
At the end of the school year, Kendra and her brother Seth find themselves racing back to Fablehaven, a refuge for mythical and magical creatures. Grandpa Sorenson, the caretaker, invites three specialists — a potion master, a magical relics collector, and a mystical creature trapper — to help protect the property from the Society of the Evening Star, an ancient organization determined to infiltrate the preserve and steal a hidden artifact of great power. Time is running out. The Evening Star is storming the gates. If the artifact falls into the wrong hands, it could mean the downfall of other preserves and possibly the world. Will Kendra learn to use her fairy gifts in time? Will Seth stay out of trouble?
In the kingdom of Nothing, there really was nothing. No toys or TVs. No tablets or phones. No bicycles or tricyles or anything at all. Yet, with nothing in their kingdom, the Queen and the King, the Princess and the Prince, were still the happiest family in the land. And the reason why is simple. They all knew that the things in life that can bring you the most joy are around you all the time. You just need to know where to look for them.
In Camelot, King Arthur’s dog encounters a world of danger and magic… Follow Cavall as he embarks on a quest that will put the unbreakable bond between a dog and his person to the ultimate test. When Cavall and his older brother, Glessic, leave the comfort of their simple barn to join the lavish court of Camelot, Cavall wants nothing more than to prove he’s a good dog to the great knights and dogs of the castle—especially to King Arthur. But Gless says only the best dogs are worthy of greatness, and Cavall has never been as strong, brave, or fast as his brother. Meanwhile, malevolent forces lurk in Camelot, and Cavall must figure out how to protect his person. To make matters worse, Arthur’s mysterious nightmares are threatening to shake his grip on reality and undermine his authority as king. To fight back against the dangers of the dream world, Cavall will need help from some loyal hounds and the enchanting, sometimes frightening creatures who call themselves the fay. In this captivating debut from Audrey Mackaman, Cavall will have to prove not only that he can be a good dog for his person, but that he is capable of a greatness all his own.
Peter Pan - One starry night, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell lead the three Darling children over the rooftops of London and away to Neverland – the island where lost boys play, mermaids splash and fairies make mischief. But a villainous-looking gang of pirates lurk in the docks, led by the terrifying Captain James Hook. Magic and excitement are in the air, but if Captain Hook has his way, before long, someone will be walking the plank and swimming with the crocodiles…
The Wizard of Oz - Dorothy thinks she’s lost forever when a tornado whirls her and her dog, Toto, into a magical world. To get home, she must find the wonderful wizard in the Emerald City of Oz. On the way she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. But the Wicked Witch of the West has her own plans for the new arrival… will Dorothy ever see Kansas again?
The Secret of Platform 13 - Odge Gribble, a young hag, accompanies an old wizard, a gentle fey, and a giant ogre on their mission through a magical tunnel from their Island to London to rescue their King and Queen’s son who had been stolen as an infant.
A Fiery Friendship - Lions, and tigers, and bears, not quite! Travel down the red brick road with the world’s most iconic Good Witch, Glinda, as she embarks on a brave adventure in Oz in this start to a brand-new series from Gabriel Gale and Lisa Fiedler. On her Declaration Day, a day meant for celebration and happiness, Glinda’s peaceful life in Oz is shattered when her mother is imprisoned for practicing forbidden Magic. As she is ripped from her home by a fearsome bounty hunter sent by Aphidina, the Witch of the South, Glinda soon uncovers a startling truth: the Oz she’s always know is not good and right—it’s a world governed by the wickedest of the wicked, overrun with tyranny, corruption, and dark power. And Glinda’s mother? She is actually a high-ranking member of a secret society whose mission is to overthrow the four Wicked Witches and set the stage for the return of the rightful ruler of Oz. With the help of a feisty, purple-haired girl named Locasta, Glinda sets across the unforgiving landscape to rescue her mother. They are soon joined by Ben, a revolutionary New Yorker, and a mysterious girl called Shade. Armed with their individual gifts, these unlikely heroes mount an epic attack on Aphidina to free Glinda’s mother…and save the future of Oz from the Wickeds before it’s too late.
Reminiscent of The Giver, this literary debut middle-grade fantasy is beautifully written and stunningly creative. “A deep dive into a world-within-a-world, a heart-within-a-heart.” —Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist “The joys of the senses and the glories of creation shine in this radiant debut.” —Julie Berry, Printz Honor author of The Passion of Dolssa “Ginger Johnson’s debut is as vibrant as the colors her characters wield in this novel about creativity, collaboration, and creation.” —Megan Frazer Blakemore, author of The Water Castle and The Firefly Code Ever since his brother Luc’s disappearance and his father’s tragic death, Ishmael has lived a monotonous existence helping his mother on their meager farm where everything is colorless. Until one morning a ray of light fragments Ishmael’s gray world into something extraordinary: a spectrum of color he never knew existed. Emboldened, Ishmael sets out to find answers hoping his long lost brother might hold the key. He finds Luc in the Hall of Hue, one of the seven creative workshops at The Commons, the seat of all new creation. Luc is completing the final days of his training as a Color Keeper, adding the finishing touches of color to a brand new world designed and built by a team of young artisans. Although his heart calls him to a future as a Color Keeper, Ishmael feels too guilty to leave the duties of his old life behind. But when a catastrophe destroys nearly all of the color and light at the Hall of Hue, Ishmael and Luc are suddenly at severe odds. Torn between his family and his destiny, Ishmael must learn when to let go of the past, when to trust the path ahead, and when to believe in himself.
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