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Journeys: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about journeys is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From This Little Explorer to Captain's Log: Snowbound there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about journeys? Let us know!

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.

The Matchbox Diary book
#2
The Matchbox Diary
Written by Paul Fleischman and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Follows a girl's perusal of her great-grandfather's collection of matchboxes and small curios that document his poignant immigration journey from Italy to a new country.

Everything & Everywhere book
#3
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.

Special Delivery book
#4
Special Delivery
Written and illustrated by Philip C. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Sadie is on her way to deliver an elephant to her Great-Aunt Josephine, who lives completely alone and can really use the company. She tries everything from mailing the elephant to boarding a plane, a train, and an alligator to get to her aunt's home. Along the way she meets an array of interesting characters, including an odd postal worker and a gang of bandit monkeys, who all help her get where she is going. This eccentric and hilarious story from Philip C. Stead, the author of the Caldecott-winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee and illustrator Matthew Cordell will surprise and entertain from beginning to end. This title has Common Core connections.

The Road Not Taken book
#5
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.

  1. The Scarlet Dragon - In this second Kingdom of Wrenly chapter book, Lucas and Clara search for special berries that will cure the scarlet dragon. In this second book in The Kingdom of Wrenly series, an unusual egg has been found on Crestwood, the land of dragons. When the egg starts to hatch, the king, queen, and Prince Lucas are there to see what emerges. It’s…a scarlet dragon! Everyone is amazed to see the creature, which they have only heard about in tall tales. King Caleb declares that the special dragon will belong to an overjoyed Prince Lucas, who vows to keep his dragon safe. But when the scarlet dragon gets sick, the only cure is a potion made with vixberries that grow deep in the forest of Burth (the land of trolls). Lucas and Clara set out to find these special berries, but the task is harder than they expected. Will they be able to find the berries and save the scarlet dragon? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

  2. Sea Monster! - Troubled waters ahead! Lucas and Clara search for a scary sea monster in this third chapter book in the fantastical Kingdom of Wrenly series. Something has been making waves around Wrenly, and it’s not the tides. Prince Lucas is sure that it’s the mysterious sea monster that has only been heard of in tall tales. Now the legendary monster is frightening everyone—from fishermen, to the king’s men, to even the hardiest of sea captains. With the aid of his best friend, Clara, and a cast of unlikely helpers, it’s up to Prince Lucas to discover what is bothering the beast—and make the trouble stop! With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

  3. The Lost Stone - Welcome to the Kingdom of Wrenly—a new chapter book series full of fantasy and adventure. Meet Lucas, the eight year-old prince, and Clara, the daughter of the queen’s seamstress. Lucas is an only child who longs to make friends and go on adventures. Clara knows the kingdom well, so she and Lucas team up and explore the lands of Wrenly! In The Lost Stone, Lucas and Clara search for Queen Tasha’s missing emerald. On their exciting adventure, they travel to all the main attractions of Wrenly: Primlox (the island of fairies), Burth (the island of trolls), Crestwood (the island of dragons), Hobsgrove (the island of wizards), and the beautiful Mermaid’s Cove. King Caleb has promised to reward the person who finds the precious stone, and Lucas and Clara are determined to search the entire kingdom until they find it! With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

  4. Madeline's Christmas - 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.

The Kingdom of Wrenly - 4 Books in 1! book
#10
The Kingdom of Wrenly - 4 Books in 1!
Written by Jordan Quinn and illustrated by Robert McPhillips
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Journey to the magical Kingdom of Wrenly with this fanastical four-book collection! Join Prince Lucas and his best friend, Clara, as they search for the queen’s lost necklace, save a scarlet dragon, tame a sea monster, and stop an evil curse from destroying the kingdom’s crops in this enchanting four-book collection. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers. This adventurous four-book collection includes: The Lost Stone, The Scarlet Dragon, Sea Monster!, and The Witch’s Curse.

Secret in the Stone book
#11
Secret in the Stone
Written by Kamilla Benko
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The second book in an enchanting fantasy series The Unicorn Quest, about a real-world girl and her sister in a land full of magic and strange creatures. Claire Martinson and her sister Sophie have decided to stay in Arden--the magical land they discovered by climbing up a chimney in their great-aunt's manor. If what they've learned is true, the sisters are the last descendants of the royal family, and only a true heir of Arden--with magic in her blood--can awaken the unicorns. Since Sophie has does not have magic, the land's last hope rests on Claire. The sisters journey to Stonehaven, a famed Gemmer school high in the mountains of Arden, so Claire can train in the magic of stone. As Claire struggles through classes, Sophie uncovers dangerous secrets about the people they thought they could trust. With Arden on the brink of crumbling, can Claire prove she is the prophesied heir and unlock the magic of the unicorns before it's too late?

Space book
#13
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 Street Beneath My Feet book
#14
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!

  1. Spot the Mistake: Lands of Long Ago - 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.

  2. The Witch's Curse - It’s up to Lucas and Clara to reverse a curse on the kingdom in this fourth chapter book in the fantastical Kingdom of Wrenly series. Someone has cursed the Kingdom of Wrenly, making it rain nonstop for six whole days! The fields are in danger of flooding, which will ruin all the crops. Can Lucas and Clara figure out who’s behind the evil spell and stop the villain before it’s too late? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

  3. The Crow's Tale - 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.

  4. A River - 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
#19
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.

For All the Stars Across the Sky book
#20
For All the Stars Across the Sky
Written by Karl Newson and illustrated by Chiaki Okada
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In a tender bedtime ritual, a parent elicits wishes from her little one, sparking imaginary journeys together before it's time to sleep. For all the stars across the sky, Big and little and bright, Here's a wish from me to you, Before we say good night. "I wish that we could fly like birds!" says Luna when Mama asks her for her nightly wish. So off they go on an imaginary flight together, past mountaintops and fields and over the deep blue sea. Then Luna wishes they could swim like fish through the corals, shrink as small as ants on the vines, and grow as big as giants, stomping down the lane that leads to Luna's very own bed. In a quintessential bedtime story, gentle art and a lyrical text take listeners on lighthearted flights of fancy and offer an ode to the unconditional love between parent and child.

Like a Shooting Star book
#21
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.

Drummer Boy book
#22
Drummer Boy
Written and illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In a wintry little town, a drummer boy appears on a child’s doorstep. And when it is still and quiet, the drummer boy plays, boom pum pum boom pum, and warms the child’s heart. But one day the drummer boy is accidentally knocked into the trash, sending him on a journey he never imagined–a journey on which he continues to play his drum, warming the hearts of others, from a rat to an owl to a snowman. And in a touching conclusion, his own heart is warmed as he plays to his most perfect audience: the baby in a manger. Loren Long brings this story of an unforgettable little drummer boy to vivid life with his timeless and magical art.

Assassin's Code book
#23
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.

  1. The Incredible Chapore - 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.

  2. The Atlas of Classic Tales - In every fairy tale, the main characters embark on a journey. Now, stunningly designed and detailed maps invite readers to join their adventures in an exciting new way. Thanks to the imaginative pen of Claudia Bordin, eight enchanting kingdoms come brilliantly to life so you can see the castles, villages, forests, and oceans where such beloved figures as Sinbad, Puss in Boots, and Little Red Riding Hood wander.

  3. A Whisper of Horses - 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.

  4. Heart of a Tiger - As the Name Day celebration approaches, a young kitten tries to deserve a noble name, by following the path of the beautiful Bengal tiger.

The Road to Ever After book
#28
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

Lady Liberty's Holiday book
#29
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!

Hello Ruby: Journey Inside the Computer book
#30
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

Little Sid book
#31
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.

The Courage Test book
#32
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.

  1. Captain's Log: Snowbound - 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.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!