Best Kids Books About Journeys

24 Kids Books About Journeys

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Drummer Boy book
#1
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.

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.

Special Delivery book
#3
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"--

Little Sid book
#4
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.

Space book
#5
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
#6
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
#7
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
#8
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
#9
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
#10
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
#12
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
#13
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
#14
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.

Stinker book
#15
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
#16
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
#17
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
#18
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
#19
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.

The Atlas of Classic Tales book
#20
The Atlas of Classic Tales
Written by and illustrated by Claudia Bordin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

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.

For All the Stars Across the Sky book
#21
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.

I Need All of It book
#22
I Need All of It
Written by Petra Postert and illustrated by Jens Rassmus
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

While Jim helps sort laundry, his father finds objects in Jim's pants pocket that he things are worthless, but Jim recounts tales of their immense importance.

Baby Dragon, Baby Dragon! book
#23
Baby Dragon, Baby Dragon!
Written by Melissa Marr and illustrated by Lena Podesta
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A dauntless lass and a hyperactive dragon learn to keep pace with each other as they forge a friendship. Baby Dragon loves to swoop and soar through the kingdom, which can cause quite a stir. But one little girl is up for the challenge of spending the day with Baby Dragon, and the two embark upon an exciting journey through the kingdom, where they run and race and climb and explore--and eventually even take the time to relish a quiet moment. New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has crafted a rollicking story about how the best friendships expand our horizons in all kinds of ways!

Heart of a Tiger book
#24
Heart of a Tiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

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

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