Best Children's Books About Journeys

32 Children's Books About Journeys

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
This Little Explorer book
#1
This Little Explorer
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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

Madeline's Christmas book
#2
Madeline's Christmas
Written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Everyone gets her Christmas wish when Madeline’s in charge! Something is not right with the famous “twelve little girls in two straight lines.” All are sick in bed except brave Madeline, who must run the school, for even Miss Clavel is not feeling very well. But when Madeline finds help from a magical merchant, the girls embark on a Christmas journey that will surely make them forget their sniffles and sneezes.

Assassin's Code book
#3
Assassin's Code
Written and illustrated by Alex Woolf
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

To read or not to read? With a pulse-pounding historical thriller series like The Shakespeare Plot there's really only one answer! Journey back in time to danger-filled Elizabethan London. Alice Fletcher is a stagehand at the Globe theatre. When her brother, Richard, goes missing, Alice seeks him with the help of Tom Cavendish, servant to the power-hungry Earl of Essex. Packed with a heady Elizabethan atmosphere of political scheming, romance and murder. The swiftly paced, suspenseful plot will keep young readers on the edge of their seats while giving them an insight into the history of Shakespeare's England.

The Courage Test book
#4
The Courage Test
Written and illustrated by James Preller
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Will has no choice. His father drags him along on a wilderness adventure in the footsteps of legendary explorers Lewis and Clark--whether he likes it or not. All the while, Will senses that something about this trip isn't quite right. Along the journey, Will meets fascinating strangers and experiences new thrills, including mountain cliffs, whitewater rapids, and a heart-hammering bear encounter. It is a journey into the soul of America's past, and the meaning of family in the future. In the end, Will must face his own, life-changing test of courage. A father-and-son journey along the Lewis and Clark Trail--from Fort Mandan to the shining sea--offers readers a genre-bending blend of American history, thrilling action, and personal discovery. This title has Common Core connections.

Special Delivery book
#5
Special Delivery
Written and illustrated by Philip C. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

"A little girl goes on a long journey to deliver an elephant to her great aunt"--

The Road to Ever After book
#6
The Road to Ever After
Written by Moira Young
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A young boy escorts an elderly woman back to her childhood home where she plans to die in this funny and heartbreaking middle-grade novel. Davy David, an orphan, lives by his wits in the dead-end town of Brownvale. When a stray dog named George turns Davy’s life upside down just days before Christmas, Davy sets in motion a chain of events that forces them to flee. A mischievous wind blows the two of them to a boarded-up museum on the outskirts of town where they meet the elderly recluse, Miss Flint. She has planned one last adventure before her time is up and hires the reluctant Davy and George to escort her. As they travel, the most peculiar thing begins to happen—Miss Flint gets younger and younger with every mile, and her story unfolds along with it. The Road to Ever After by Moira Young is magical and moving adventure about an unlikely friendship and an unforgettable journey. Praise for The Road to Ever After: "Gorgeous writing combines with a hauntingly bleak near-future setting, a whiff of holiday magic, and a transcendent story arc to make this novel feel like the classic it deserves to become." —Publishers Weekly, starred review "This fairy tale-like novel has good potential as a read- aloud and is just quirky enough to not be sentimental." —School Library Journal

Little Sid book
#7
Little Sid
Written by Ian Lendler and illustrated by Xanthe Bouma
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this charming and accessible picture book, Ian Lendler and Xanthe Bouma offer a heart-warming account of the childhood of the Buddha. A spoiled young prince, Siddhartha got everything he ever asked for, until he asked for what couldn’t be given—happiness. Join Little Sid as he sets off on a journey of discovery and encounters mysterious wise-folk, terrifying tigers, and one very annoying mouse. With Lendler’s delightful prose and Bouma’s lyrical artwork, Little Sid weaves traditional Buddhist fables into a classic new tale of mindfulness, the meaning of life, and an awakening that is as profound today as it was 2,500 years ago.

Hello Ruby: Journey Inside the Computer book
#8
Hello Ruby: Journey Inside the Computer
Written by Linda Liukas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What exactly is a computer? How does it work? What is it made of? Learn all this and more with Ruby! In Ruby's world anything is possible if you put your mind to it—even fixing her father's broken computer! Join Ruby and her new friend, Mouse, on an imaginative journey through the insides of a computer in search of the missing Cursor. From bits and logic gates to computer hardware, in Journey Inside the Computer, Ruby (and her readers!) will learn the basic elements of the machines that power our world. Then future kid coders can put their knowledge and imaginations to work with fun activities. Praise for Linda Liukas and the Hello Ruby series: "[Linda Liukas] wants kids to understand and embrace basic computer logic, so that they later formulate code in the same effortless and creative way they build structures with LEGO." —The Wall Street Journal "Hello Ruby by Linda Liukas is half picture book and half activity book rolled into one adorable package. What I love about it is that it introduces programming without requiring a computer at all." —GeekMom.com

A Whisper of Horses book
#9
A Whisper of Horses
Written and illustrated by Zillah Bethell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

A futuristic adventure fantasy in which an orphaned girl is on a quest to find the last horses on Earth Serendipity lives inside a walled city. Before her mother died, she gave Seren an old figurine of a horse. Horses no longer exist in Serendipity’s world, but when she discovers a map that may lead her to real horses, she starts on a journey that will take her far from everything she knows. Traveling with an orphan boy, Tab, and his beloved dog, she's soon on the run from a powerful and dangerous man who will do anything to make sure Serendipity never leaves the walled city again.

Space book
#10
Space
Written by Heather Alexander and illustrated by Andres Lozano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

How big is the universe? What would it be like to live on Venus? Is there life on another planet? What was the Big Bang? How does space travel work? Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this interactive lift-the-flap fact book. Embark on an epic journey through space and see the amazing Milky Way, find out what life is like for astronauts and take a closer look at life outside our galaxy … could aliens really exist?

The Crow's Tale book
#11
The Crow's Tale
Written and illustrated by Naomi Howarth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

In the dark depths of winter, snow is falling and the animals are freezing and famished. Brave Crow sets out on a dangerous journey to find the Sun, and beg for warmth. Will Crow succeed, and what will happen to his colourful rainbow feathers? Inspired by a Lenape Native American myth, this beautiful debut picture book shows how courage and kindness are what really matter.

Fish book
#12
Fish
Written and illustrated by Liam Francis Walsh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A boy and his dog embark on a fishing journey.Their first catch of the day: a big fat letter F.Their second? A slippery I. After an epic journey beneath the lake's surface, they find what they came for - a FISH, along with some unanticipated menace from a few other letters. This clever, wordless picture book, by a popular New Yorker cartoonist, is filled with charm and heart and will have no problem swimming its way into the hearts of young readers.

The Street Beneath My Feet book
#13
The Street Beneath My Feet
Written by Charlotte Guillain and illustrated by Yuval Zommer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

This double-sided foldout book takes you on a fascinating journey deep underground. One side of the foldout shows the ground beneath the city, whilst the other side of the foldout shows the ground beneath the countryside. The scenes in the book, by the widely acclaimed illustrator Yuval Zommer, are continuous, so contrasting underground sections, from tunnels and pipes to burrowing creatures, layers of rock to the planet’s molten core, run seamlessly into the next. Mixing urban and rural settings, as well as Geology, Archaeology and Natural History, The Street Beneath My Feet offers children the opportunity to explore their world in a detailed learning experience. And its fold-out, ‘Laperello’ style, which extends to 2.5 metres in length, is great fun to spread out on the floor and really get involved!

Captain's Log: Snowbound book
#14
Captain's Log: Snowbound
Written by Erin Dionne and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Excited to give his report on explorer Ernest Shackleton in school, and frustrated by a monstrous snowstorm that has left his family and city snowbound, a boy imagines himself on a voyage where he and his crew (his family) are trapped by the ice, just like his favorite explorer and the ship, Endurance.

Spot the Mistake: Lands of Long Ago book
#15
Spot the Mistake: Lands of Long Ago
Written and illustrated by Frances Castle, Mike Jolley, Amanda Wood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Would an Inca warrior have ridden a camel? Would a Viking have listened to his radio? Test your knowledge of history and spot 20 mistakes in every scene from ancient civilisations, then turn to the back where you’ll find the answers and more fun facts.

Like a Shooting Star book
#17
Like a Shooting Star
Written and illustrated by Rino Alaimo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Award-winning filmmaker and author of The Boy Who Loved the Moon. Rino Alaimo returns with an endearing tale about courage and love. When a young boy's father doesn't return from the war, the lonely boy wishes upon a shooting star--one that turns out to be a little firefly who, try as she might, just can't fly. Touched by the boy's earnest wish, the firefly undertakes a courageous journey to bring the boy's father home. Hope, love, and the courage of an unlikely hero fill the pages of this stunningly illustrated picture book.

Everything & Everywhere book
#18
Everything & Everywhere
Written and illustrated by Marc Martin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

From Hong Kong to Reykjavík, Ulaanbaatar to New York City, enjoy a lush and unexpected journey around the world to discover what makes each place unique. Sleepy sloths, colorful cows, staggering skylines, terrible traffic—countless surprises await! All you need is a good guide and a little curiosity . . . so, what are you waiting for? Let's go! From award-winning author and illustrator Marc Martin comes a quirky, fact-filled adventure for curious globe-trotters, young and old.

A River book
#19
A River
Written and illustrated by Marc Martin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

There's a river outside my window. Where will it take me? So begins the imaginary journey of a child inspired by the view outside her bedroom window: a vast river winding through a towering city. A small boat with a single white sail floats down the river and takes her from factories to farmlands, freeways to forests, out to the stormy and teeming depths of the ocean, and finally back to the comforts—and inspirations—of home. This lush, immersive book by award-winning picture book creator Marc Martin will delight readers of all ages by taking them on a transcendent and aspirational journey through an imaginative landscape.

Belle's Journey book
#20
Belle's Journey
Written by Rob Bierregaard and illustrated by Kate Garchinsky
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

For over sixteen years, Dr. Rob Bierregaard (Dr. B. to his students) has tracked osprey migration using small radio transmitters. This is the story of one of Dr. B.’s ospreys, Belle, who each spring flies 4,000 miles from her winter home in Brazil to her spring nest on Martha’s Vineyard to meet her mate and start a new family. Besides the long distance, Belle must find food, weather storms, and face other dangers. Dr. B. and his companions follow Belle’s journey via her transmitter. This mostly true story is based on information garnered through twenty years of research by Dr. B.

Stinker book
#21
Stinker
Written by David Zeltser and illustrated by Julia Patton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Stinker is a puppy stuck in the pound. He's playful and loving and wants more than anything to be adopted. Unfortunately, little Stinker is always making big smells. As family after family return the ever-patient pooch back to the shelter, even he begins to lose hope. That is, until Stinker meets a snarky tomcat who can wriggle his way out of any situation. Together they stage a great escape in order to find just the right home, where Stinker will be loved in spite of his smells.

Lady Liberty's Holiday book
#22
Lady Liberty's Holiday
Written by Jen Arena and illustrated by Matt Hunt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-7

The Statue of Liberty is feeling a little blue, despite being green. As much as she loves welcoming people to America, standing still for over a hundred years has left her with a stiff neck, aching arms, and a cramp in her leg. This lady could use a vacation!

The Incredible Chapore book
#23
The Incredible Chapore
Written by Monsieur Odyssey and illustrated by Jo de Ruiter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

I'm just a Tiger, I'm easy to snatch, but I know a creature that no one can catch. It's called the Chapore, I've seen one before, it stood where you're standing, right there, on the floor!' And so begins the story of a foolish poacher and his bid to catch an amazing and elusive creature, the incredible Chapore. During his journey the poacher encounters Tiger, Gorilla and Snake, all of whom give him a clue about where to find the Chapore in exchange for their freedom.

Violet and the Woof book
#24
Violet and the Woof
Written by Rebecca Grabill and illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

If you love stories of imagination, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Where the Wild Things Are, and Charlie and Lola—you’ll adore spending time with these two courageous siblings. “Once upon a time, a brave little girl and her brother set out on a long, long journey,” Violet tells Peter. “A journey fraught with danger and peril.” Riding their building’s elevator and traveling the hallways past apartment doors to bring soup to a sick neighbor, Violet and Peter encounter both real and imagined adventure—getting lost in the laundry room, running into a troll, and escaping scary noises in the nick of time, only to find that their poor sick neighbor looks . . . like a wolf! Clever, thought-provoking, and with an unforgettable ending, Violet and the Woof is a book that explores the power of imaginative storytelling and will have kids asking: “What’s real?”

The Road Not Taken book
#25
The Road Not Taken
Written by Robert Frost and illustrated by Vivian Mineker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

For all of life's adventures comes this beautifully illustrated companion inspired by Robert Frost's perennial poem "The Road Not Taken." Heartwarming illustrations of a young boy journeying through a yellow wood accompany the original text of the poem. When a fork in the road arises for the boy, so too does the first of life's many choices. And as the poem progresses, so does the boy's life: college, career, marriage, family, loss, and, by journey's end, the sweet satisfaction of a life fully lived. The first children's book ever made of Frost's famous poem, this moving presentation makes an inspiring gift for graduation, marriage, career moves, and all of life's exciting roads.

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