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Outdoor Activities: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about outdoor activities?

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

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, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about outdoor activities, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past to popular sellers like Swallows and Amazons to some of our favorite hidden gems like Hike.

We hope this list of kids books about outdoor activities can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Top 10 Books About Outdoor Activities

#1
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National Parks of the USA
Written by Kate Siber & illustrated by Chris Turnham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Take a tour of America’s great outdoors and discover the beauty and diversity of its most iconic and majestic national parks. Packed with maps and fascinating facts about the flora and fauna unique to each of the 21 parks portrayed, this lushly illustrated coast-to-coast journey documents in large format the nation’s most magnificent and sacred places—and shows why they should be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

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#2
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The Nature Girls
Written & illustrated by Aki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Aki’s The Nature Girls is a picture book starring an adorable troupe of girls exploring different biomes—the ocean, the desert, the tundra, the grasslands, the forest—and meeting all the cute animals that inhabit them.

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#3
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Sandcastle That Lola Built
Written by Megan Maynor & illustrated by Kate Berube
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Lola is building her dream sandcastle—one with a tall, tall tower and sea glass that sends signals to mermaids. But the beach is crowded, and soon enough, a boy steps on her castle. Not to worry! Lola recruits him to build a wall. When a toddler with a bulldozer starts digging too close the walls, Lola decides he can be in charge of digging the moat. As the sandcastle grows, so does Lola’s friendly group of helpers. There’s only one thing that Lola doesn’t want near the sandcastle: a wave! Will the new friends be able to salvage the mermaids’ castle when their hard work is washed away?

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#4
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Vernon Is on His Way
Written & illustrated by Philip C. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Today is a very nice day. There has never been a day so nice as this, except for maybe yesterday. Join Vernon and his friends Skunk and Porcupine on a series of three enchanting adventures entitled Waiting, Fishing, and Gardening, as they comb the forest floor for trinkets and go fishing in their own unconventional way. Award-winning author Philip Stead’s calming text and playful, sincere illustrations will charm and entertain many times over.

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#5
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Summer Color!
Written by Diana Murray & illustrated by Zoe Persico
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A celebration of the wonder and colors of every child's favorite season--summer!
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#6
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The Fisherman & the Whale
Written & illustrated by Jessica Lanan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Jessica Lanan’s dreamy and dramatic watercolor paintings bring to life a wordless story about wonder in the natural world. A fisherman takes his son for a trip out on the water. When they encounter a whale entangled at sea, they realize a connection that transcends the animal kingdom.

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#7
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Hike
Written & illustrated by Pete Oswald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Take to the trails for a celebration of nature – and a day spent with dad.

In the cool and quiet early light of morning, a father and child wake up. Today they’re going on a hike. Follow the duo into the mountains as they witness the magic of the wilderness, overcome challenges, and play a small role in the survival of the forest. By the time they return home, they feel alive – and closer than ever – as they document their hike and take their place in family history. In detail-rich panels and textured panoramas, Pete Oswald perfectly paces this nearly wordless adventure, allowing readers to pause for subtle wonders and marvel at the views. A touching tribute to the bond between father and child, with resonant themes for Earth Day, Hike is a breath of fresh air.

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#8
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All Aboard! National Parks
Written by Kevin Meyers and Haily Meyers & illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From the creators of BabyLit®: Every area of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. This new board book series written by the husband and wife team of Haily and Kevin Meyers and illustrated by Haily, celebrates the unique qualities of each city while employing a fun primer element to tell the story. These books will have you and baby seeing the world by train and will turn story time into a globetrotting event. Perfect as a souvenir or as part of a geography collection for brilliant babies, the All Aboard! series will be pulling into your station next!

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#9
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The Perfect Picnic
Written & illustrated by Ciara Flood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A hilarious story from the author of Those Pesky Rabbits about friendship, perfectionists, and losing your sandwiches.

Squirrel and Mole are the best of friends, and they do everything together, including going on picnics. But while Mole doesn’t really mind where they have a picnic, Squirrel is very determined that this picnic will be PERFECT, and that means finding the perfect place. But does such a thing exist?

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#10
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Milton & Odie and the Bigger-than- Bigmouth Bass
Written & illustrated by Mary Ann Fraser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When faced with a challenge—or a super cold morning—Milton grumbles and Odie sees the bright side. Whiling away the hours at their respective fishing holes, neither Milton nor Odie get even the tiniest nibble . . . until Milton snags Odie’s pole. But does that mean fishing is over? On facing pages, Milton and Odie approach life with contrasting attitudes. Milton’s sure there isn’t a fish for miles, but Odie embraces the joy of anticipation, imagining that a bigmouth bass will be along any minute. Sweetly simple illustrations reveal the ups and downs of patience and expectation in this fish story about the one that didn’t get away.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Outdoor Activities and...

Books About Outdoor Activities and Animals

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The Nature Girls
Written & illustrated by Aki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Aki’s The Nature Girls is a picture book starring an adorable troupe of girls exploring different biomes—the ocean, the desert, the tundra, the grasslands, the forest—and meeting all the cute animals that inhabit them.

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Vernon Is on His Way
Written & illustrated by Philip C. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Today is a very nice day. There has never been a day so nice as this, except for maybe yesterday. Join Vernon and his friends Skunk and Porcupine on a series of three enchanting adventures entitled Waiting, Fishing, and Gardening, as they comb the forest floor for trinkets and go fishing in their own unconventional way. Award-winning author Philip Stead’s calming text and playful, sincere illustrations will charm and entertain many times over.

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Take a Hike, Miles and Spike!
Written & illustrated by Travis Foster and Ethan Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Take care, GRIZZLY BEAR! Stay loose, MOOSE! Buh-bye, BUTTERFLY! Join Miles and Spike as they take a hike…and a few provisions, as well, much to the vexation of their fellow forest creatures. Travis Foster and Ethan Long offer a hilarious picture book full of silly rhymes, outdoor adventures, and learning how to get along with others.

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  1. Fenway and Hattie in the Wild - In the fourth book in the adorable middle-grade series, Fenway gets a taste of the wild when he goes on a back-to-school camping trip with Hattie. When Hattie starts using a word Fenway hasn’t heard in a long, long time – “skool” – some other things change as well. Hattie’s bushy ponytail disappears, clothes that smell like no one ever wore them get tossed around her room, and she smells nervous much more than usual. Then the family fills the Food Box with yummy hot dogs and loads it in the car. Fenway is thrilled that he gets to go along where ever they are going, and is even more excited when they arrive in the wilderness with tons of new scents to investigate, dogs and humans to meet, and lots of meat cooking over fires. Hattie seems excited about it all, too, and happy her friend Angel also came, but when more families arrive with lots of new kids, she smells nervous again. Especially when one certain kid that all the others seem to follow everywhere starts bossing everyone around. Fenway can sympathize, because a tiny dog is doing the same thing to all the other dogs. Fitting in can be a tough business, but luckily both Fenway and Hattie come around to realizing that being true to themselves is much more important.

  2. I Love Birds! 52 Ways to Wonder, Wander and Explore Birds with Kids - Calling all birders! It’s time to share the joy of birds with the kids in your life. I Love Birds! is chock-full of activities, information, and rich resources that will fuel discovery and inspire families. Through sensory, hands-on, and creative explorations that involve birding basics and the hows and whys of bird behavior, the activities here will engage children’s imagination and sense of wonder as they observe birds in the wild, become citizen scientists, and forge a deeper understanding, appreciation, and stewardship toward nature, our planet, and all things feathery.

  3. Lulu & Pip - Lulu takes her doll Pip on a camping trip, where they make friends with an old donkey, build a tent, eat dessert over a campfire, and fall asleep underneath the stars.

  4. Forest Baby - From a carrier, a baby peers out at the trail. Leaves rustle overhead, and a turtle stretches toward the sun. Everything shimmers with light, including the jeweled wings of a dragonfly and the star-shaped lilies. This delightful board book takes the reader on a hike accented by the soft sound of footsteps on the trail and grounded by the rhythmic rocking of mother and baby moving through the forest. Travel along on their serene journey with Laurie Elmquist’s lyrical verse and Shantala Robinson’s warmly painted collages. A beautiful book that will be treasured by anyone who loves the outdoors.

Want to see books about animals?

Books About Outdoor Activities and Fishing

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The Fisherman & the Whale
Written & illustrated by Jessica Lanan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Jessica Lanan’s dreamy and dramatic watercolor paintings bring to life a wordless story about wonder in the natural world. A fisherman takes his son for a trip out on the water. When they encounter a whale entangled at sea, they realize a connection that transcends the animal kingdom.

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Milton & Odie and the Bigger-than- Bigmouth Bass
Written & illustrated by Mary Ann Fraser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When faced with a challenge—or a super cold morning—Milton grumbles and Odie sees the bright side. Whiling away the hours at their respective fishing holes, neither Milton nor Odie get even the tiniest nibble . . . until Milton snags Odie’s pole. But does that mean fishing is over? On facing pages, Milton and Odie approach life with contrasting attitudes. Milton’s sure there isn’t a fish for miles, but Odie embraces the joy of anticipation, imagining that a bigmouth bass will be along any minute. Sweetly simple illustrations reveal the ups and downs of patience and expectation in this fish story about the one that didn’t get away.

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Sardines of Love
Written & illustrated by Zuriñe Aguirre
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

“Grandmother Lola hates sardines, but Grandfather Lolo loves them. He eats them every day. When she runs out of sardines one day, Lola can’t bear to think of Lolo going hungry. She decides to go fishing –with unexpected results. What on earth will Lola eat when she discovers that sardines are the only food on offer? And what will Lolo do when he finds out that his beloved Lola is missing?”–Dust jacket flap.

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  1. A Different Pond - A 2018 Caldecott Honor Book that Kirkus Reviews calls “a must-read for our times,” A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event - a long-ago fishing trip. Graphic novelist Thi Bui and acclaimed poet Bao Phi deliver a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son - and between cultures, old and new. As a young boy, Bao and his father awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. Thi Bui’s striking, evocative art paired with Phi’s expertly crafted prose has earned this powerful picture books six starred reviews and numerous awards.

  2. How the Stars Came To Be - Have you ever wondered how the stars came to be in the sky? The Fisherman’s Daughter loved to dance in the sunlight, and bathe in the glow of the moon. But when the moon disappeared for a few nights each month, she worried about her father and how he would find his way home from the sea in the deep darkness. When the sun finds her sobbing one night, he takes one of his rays and shatters it onto the ground, creating the stars and giving the girl the task of putting them into the dark night sky. This beautifully illustrated story gives us a new folk tale, and a new way to look up at the night sky.

  3. Song of the Deep - Twelve-year-old Merryn lives with her fisherman father in a little cottage by the sea. Each day, her father braves the tumultuous waves and returns home in time for dinner. One stormy evening, he doesn’t come back. Merryn has a vision that he s been dragged underwater by a terrifying sea creature, and he needs her help. Determined to rescue him, Merryn builds a tiny submarine and embarks on a journey through the undersea worlds she’s only heard about in her father’s lullabies. As she faces the dangers and wonders of the world below the waves, she realizes that her father’s stories were all real. Readers can also experience Merryn’s daring journey firsthand in the new “Song of the Deep” video game from acclaimed developer Insomniac Games.”

  4. Sunrise Summer - Sunrise Summer is a picture book by writer Matthew Swanson and illustrator Robbi Behr that celebrates self-confidence and empowerment, as a girl’s role changes in her family’s fishing expeditions. When a girl and her family travel four thousand miles from home, it’s not your typical summer vacation. Everything is different on the Alaskan tundra―where the grizzly bears roam and the sockeye salmon swim―including the rules. A girl can do things she wouldn’t, and couldn’t, do at home. She can wake up at midnight to work with her mom on a fishing crew. She can learn what it means to be an essential part of a team. She can become a braver, stronger, and ever-more capable version of herself. She can take her next big step. She’s ready for her first real sunrise. An Imprint Book

Books About Outdoor Activities and Imagination And Play

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Sandcastle That Lola Built
Written by Megan Maynor & illustrated by Kate Berube
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Lola is building her dream sandcastle—one with a tall, tall tower and sea glass that sends signals to mermaids. But the beach is crowded, and soon enough, a boy steps on her castle. Not to worry! Lola recruits him to build a wall. When a toddler with a bulldozer starts digging too close the walls, Lola decides he can be in charge of digging the moat. As the sandcastle grows, so does Lola’s friendly group of helpers. There’s only one thing that Lola doesn’t want near the sandcastle: a wave! Will the new friends be able to salvage the mermaids’ castle when their hard work is washed away?

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I Can Explore
Written & illustrated by Betsy Snyder
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Adventure awaits! Young readers help characters explore the world—from embarking on a jungle safari through touch-and-feel fabric leaves to riding a tandem bike through Paris—just by wiggling their fingers! Then, with two sets of hands, children assist these explorers as they head off on their next adventure in the gatefold finale. Active and adorable characters model both independence and teamwork, making this innovative board book perfect for interactive reading and playtime fun!

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Let's Go Outside!
Written by & illustrated by Amy Pixton and Ekaterina Trukhan
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Now selling a million copies a year, INDESTRUCTIBLESis the runaway little series that could! Printed on a special nontoxic, 100% washable, paperlike, recyclable material that is rip proof, chew proof, and drool proof, they are books designed for the way babies read—with their mouths!

Let’s Go Outside! celebrates the wonders of nature—the blue sky and tall, tall trees, the splish of a fish and the buzz of a busy buzzy bee.

INDESTRUCTIBLES’ text is simple and engaging, and the bold, bright illustrations hold baby’s attention. Priced at just $5.95, these books are such a great value, parents will want to collect them all.

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  1. Ty's Travels: Zip, Zoom! - Ty can't wait to ride his brand-new scooter at the park. Other kids zip and zoom by like race cars, but all Ty can do is wobble! Ty wants to give up, but a new friend helps Ty give it another try.

  2. Alphonse, There's Mud on the Ceiling! - Lovably rambunctious monster siblings Natalie and Alphonse are excited to go camping in the wilds of nature – without leaving their apartment. Most of the time, Natalie and Alphonse like living in an apartment on the seventh floor. They have bunk beds to drive, a big green chair to hide behind and yell “Raaaar!,” sunflowers on the balcony to water, and almost enough hallway space for tumbling. But when they pretend to be wiggly worms crawling across the jungle . . . SHFLWUMP! Ow! That is not a good game for indoors! How can they explore the joys of nature in the middle of the city? In a playful ode to cooperation and imagination, award-winning picture-book creator Daisy Hirst presents a third adventure starring two relatable – and resourceful – siblings.

  3. Pinkalicious: Dragon to the Rescue - Readers can watch Pinkalicious and Peterrific on the funtastic PBS Kids TV series Pinkalicious & Peterrific!

  4. Do Princesses Make Happy Campers? - “How come the campfire crackles and roars?” “I think it’s requesting that we make s’mores!” Join our favorite princess as she and her family camp, hike, fish, and bicycle in the great outdoors. Through rain and sunshine, fairy houses and fishing, this happy camper discovers that lots of fresh air and looking on the bright side are all a girl needs to make her a princess.

Books About Outdoor Activities and Camping

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All Aboard! National Parks
Written by Kevin Meyers and Haily Meyers & illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From the creators of BabyLit®: Every area of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. This new board book series written by the husband and wife team of Haily and Kevin Meyers and illustrated by Haily, celebrates the unique qualities of each city while employing a fun primer element to tell the story. These books will have you and baby seeing the world by train and will turn story time into a globetrotting event. Perfect as a souvenir or as part of a geography collection for brilliant babies, the All Aboard! series will be pulling into your station next!

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The Caterpillar and the Polliwog
Written & illustrated by Jack Kent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Impressed by the proud caterpillar’s boast that she will turn into a butterfly when she grows up, a polliwog determines to watch the caterpillar very carefully and turn into a butterfly too.

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Don't Feed the Bear
Written by Kathleen Doherty & illustrated by Chip Wass
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

A park ranger and a bear face off in a battle of signs as they each try to get treats from visiting campers.

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  1. A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee - Mr. Staccato -

    A silly tale of a night in a camper gone awry. I found it interesting that the first half of the book is just a cute story about a man and his dog enjoying a campout together in the beauty of nature. It's only half-way through the book, after Mr. Magee and his dog Dee have gone to bed, the tone of the book changes and the comedy begins.

  2. Because of an Acorn - Because of an acorn, a tree grows, a bird nests, a seed becomes a flower. Enchanting die-cuts illustrate the vital connections between the layers of an ecosystem in this magical book. Wander down the forest path to learn how every tree, flower, plant, and animal connect to one another in spiraling circles of life. An acorn is just the beginning.

  3. Who: Peek-A-Flap - Introduces animals & habitats Supports comprehension & vocabulary growth Entertains with exploration & surprise Peek and explore in the forest! You’ll meet all sorts of animal friends. Each scene features a pair of lift-a-flaps with peek-a-boo surprises. Inside the flaps, you’ll find fun facts about the animals in the artwork.

  4. Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping - Uncomfortable with the idea of camping outdoors, Scaredy Squirrel engages in a camping venture on his couch away from mosquitoes, skunks and zippers and hopes to watch a camping show on his new television, which requires him to hunt for an electrical outlet in the woods.

Books About Outdoor Activities and Picnics

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The Perfect Picnic
Written & illustrated by Ciara Flood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A hilarious story from the author of Those Pesky Rabbits about friendship, perfectionists, and losing your sandwiches.

Squirrel and Mole are the best of friends, and they do everything together, including going on picnics. But while Mole doesn’t really mind where they have a picnic, Squirrel is very determined that this picnic will be PERFECT, and that means finding the perfect place. But does such a thing exist?

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Max and Marla Are Having a Picnic
Written & illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Best friends Max and Marla are back in this charming spring tale of friendship and forgiveness

Max and Marla know how to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. So when the first sunny day of spring comes along, they’ve got the perfect plan–a picnic! They pack up their favorite dishes and their comfiest blanket and then they’re off to the lake. Once they settle in, Max realizes the picnic needs one more thing to be just right: a bouquet for Marla. But while he’s gone, Marla falls asleep, leaving their picnic prey to some thieving squirrels. Max returns to find their spread ruined and says it’s all Marla’s fault. But best friends can’t stay mad for long . . . Max and Marla Are Having a Picnic is another adorable ode to friendship from fan favorite Alexandra Boiger.

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Bats at the Beach
Written & illustrated by Brian Lies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

On a night when the moon can grow no fatter, bats pack their moon-tan lotion, blankets, banjos, and baskets of treats and fly off for some fun where the foamy sea and soft sand meet. 15,000 first printing.

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  1. Bunny Mail - Ruby is busy sending out party invitations, so Max decides he’ll write a letter too, asking for a special present. But when the postman delivers the letter to Grandma, she thinks Max is just saying hello. So Max sends another letter. It soon becomes clear to Grandma that Max is asking for something special. The only question is what? With eight clever flaps to lift, this heartwarming and interactive picture book gives Rosemary Wells fans even more reasons to love Max and Ruby, who are now starring in their own Nickelodeon television show.

  2. The Lost Picnic - A brilliantly illustrated seek-and-find that dazzles even more than The Lost House, from the award-winning B. B. Cronin! Grandad is taking his grandchildren on a picnic in his jalopy. They ride on a busy highway full of cars and signs, past charming villages and topiary-filled parks, out into the country. But when they finally arrive at the picnic spot, they discover all their food has tumbled out of the car along the way! It’s up to readers to find the missing food so the family can enjoy their meal at last.

  3. Mouse's First Summer - Join Mouse and Minka for a summer picnic in this sunny Classic Board Book. Mouse and Minka invite you to celebrate summer with a picnic in the park. Roll down the hill on tickly green grass. Fly fluttery kites high in the sky. Enjoy some juicy watermelon! And before it’s time to go home, a summer surprise sparkles in the sky. Now available as a Classic Board Book, this seasonal story is ideal for the youngest readers—and the smallest hands.

  4. Good News, Bad News - While on a picnic, Bunny and Mouse see everything that happens to them from opposite points of view–Bunny sees only the good, while Mouse sees only the bad.

Books About Outdoor Activities and Sports And Recreation

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National Parks of the USA
Written by Kate Siber & illustrated by Chris Turnham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Take a tour of America’s great outdoors and discover the beauty and diversity of its most iconic and majestic national parks. Packed with maps and fascinating facts about the flora and fauna unique to each of the 21 parks portrayed, this lushly illustrated coast-to-coast journey documents in large format the nation’s most magnificent and sacred places—and shows why they should be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

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Ninja Camp
Written by Sue Fliess & illustrated by Jen Taylor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Pack your bags and grab your gear: you’re going to Ninja Camp! Listen closely to the ninja master, who will teach you everything you need to know to become a ninja warrior-but it won’t be easy. You’ll have to be sly and swift, strong and speedy, and only then will you become a Ninja of the Night!

This fun and energetic book will delight and entertain kids and parents alike with its clever, rhyming verse and action-packed depictions of the coolest camp around. For fans of Ninja Red Riding Hood who are looking for a lesson in teamwork and cool stealth skills.

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50 Adventures in the 50 States
Written by Kate Siber
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11
Be brave and set your spirit free on an exciting journey across the U.S. of A, taking in 50 incredible adventures!

From the award-winning author of National Parks of the USA, Kate Siber
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  1. Survival - If you can keep your head, when all about you are losing theirs; if you can meet triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same (and even if you can’t), then this is the perfect book for you. It’s time to take control and be a hero! From how to survive a tornado, carry someone to safety and read an orienteering compass, to how to make a catapult, build an igloo, survive a snakebite or avalanche, and much more. Survival explains all the skills you’ll need to get through the toughest day. This book is part of the Buster Know-How series, a collection of books that teaches adventurous and imaginative kids everything they will ever need to know about getting by in this wide, whacky world.

  2. How to Find a Bird - A joyful and informative guide to birdwatching for budding young birders from an award-winning author-illustrator duo.

  3. Hooked - Joe loves fishing. He loves watching the water and looking at the sky, he loves the peacefulness, and he especially loves dreaming about catching the Big One. Joe’s dad does not love fishing. He doesn’t like the waiting, or the worms, or the fact that nothing much happens. But when Joe needs a parental chaperone for an ice-fishing field trip, his dad agrees to go along. And when the waiting turns into talking, exchanging jokes, and sharing hot chocolate, Joe’s dad discovers something unexpected. He doesn’t just like fishing with Joe—he loves it. You could even say he’s hooked.

Books About Outdoor Activities and Summer

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Dusk Explorers
Written by Lindsay Leslie & illustrated by Ellen Rooney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s that special time of evening, when the hours and the possibilities seem endless: Light is fading. A buzz of excitement and wonder takes over the neighborhood….What outdoor adventures await? Join a diverse group of suburban kids as they dash and dodge in classic street games like tag and kick-the-can and reconnect with nature’s simple pleasures catching frogs, hunting fireflies, and climbing trees. These explorers play, laugh, and make the most of their own front yards right up until their parents call out that “It’s time to come home!” But when the sun begins to set tomorrow, they’ll be back for more evening excitement!

This ode to the timeless magic of summer evenings spent outside will remind kids of the fun and friends that wait just outside their doors and leave adults smiling with nostalgia for their own dusk explorations.

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Summer Color!
Written by Diana Murray & illustrated by Zoe Persico
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A celebration of the wonder and colors of every child's favorite season--summer!
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Tallulah's Tap Shoes
Written by Marilyn Singer & illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

It’s summer, and Tallulah is excited about going to dance camp. She’ll get to take plenty of ballet classes. She’ll have to take tap, too, and she’s NOT excited about that. She’s never taken tap before, so she’ll be a beginning beginner. And she’s right—tap class is not much fun. Plus there’s a girl her same age who’s maddeningly good at tap dancing. But that same girl isn’t very good at ballet . . . could it be that she and Tallulah have something in common?

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  1. Freefall (Camp Rolling Hills #4) - Wiener’s little brother Max discovers that Wiener might not be the camp legend he made himself out to be, and in the girl’s cabin, Missi is determined to be 100 percent true to herself this summer.

  2. Willows vs. Wolverines - It’s an all-out boys vs. girls summer camp prank war in this hilarious M!X novel from the author of The Classy Crooks Club!

  3. Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer - Megan McDonald’s story – as featured in Judy’s uber-cool movie – is back in a must have edition illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. RARE! Roar! It’s not bad enough that Mom and Dad are heading to California, leaving Judy and Stink with Aunt Awful (er, Opal), but now two of Judy’s friends are going Splitsville, too. Just when it looks like her summer is going to be BOR-ing- eureka! – Judy comes up with the most thrill-a-delic plan ever. Get ready for a race involving tightrope walking, Scream Monster riding, and way more! Add in a treasure hunt for Judy’s teacher, a midnight stakeout, a runaway ice cream truck, and a dash of Bigfoot, and what have you got? The Judy Moodiest summer ever!

  4. Lumberjanes: Book One - Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin–Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley–love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella’s, where the woods contain endless mysteries. Today is no exception. When challenge-loving April leads the girls on a hike up the TALLEST mountain they’ve ever seen, things don’t go quite as planned. For one, they didn’t expect to trespass into the lands of the ancient Cloud People, and did anyone happen to read those ominous signs some unknown person posted at the bottom of the mountain? Also, unicorns. This hilarious, rollicking adventure series brings the beloved Lumberjanes characters into a novel format with brand-new adventures.

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Books About Outdoor Activities and Science And Nature

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Hike
Written & illustrated by Pete Oswald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Take to the trails for a celebration of nature – and a day spent with dad.

In the cool and quiet early light of morning, a father and child wake up. Today they’re going on a hike. Follow the duo into the mountains as they witness the magic of the wilderness, overcome challenges, and play a small role in the survival of the forest. By the time they return home, they feel alive – and closer than ever – as they document their hike and take their place in family history. In detail-rich panels and textured panoramas, Pete Oswald perfectly paces this nearly wordless adventure, allowing readers to pause for subtle wonders and marvel at the views. A touching tribute to the bond between father and child, with resonant themes for Earth Day, Hike is a breath of fresh air.

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The Hike
Written & illustrated by Alison Farrell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

With lyrical language that captures the majesty of the natural world coupled with fun narrative featured throughout, this spirited picture book tells the victorious story of three girls’ friendship—and their tribulations and triumphs in the great outdoors. Here is the best and worst of any hike: from picnics to puffing and panting, deer-sighting to detours. Featuring a glossary, a sketchbook by one of the characters, abundant labels throughout, and scientific backmatter, this book is a must-have for budding scientists, best friends, and all adventurers. And it proves, as if proof were needed, what epic things can happen right in your own backyard.

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Flashlight
Written & illustrated by Lizi Boyd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Inside a tent it’s cozy. But what is going on outside? Is it dark? Is it scary? Not if you have your trusty flashlight! Told solely through images and using a spare yet dramatic palette, artist Lizi Boyd has crafted a masterful exploration of night, nature, and art. Both lyrical and humorous, this visual poem—like the flashlight beam itself—reveals that there is magic in the darkness. We just have to look for it.

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  1. Hello, Adirondacks! - Welcome to the Adirondacks! In this board book from bestselling children's author-illustrator Martha Day Zschock, a parent and child bear explore the Adirondacks, upper New York State's 6 million acres of wild beauty and cultural significance. Join them as they discover mountains, lakes, and forests. Come along as they meet some new friend: moose, deer, fox, coyotes and all kinds of birds. They have fun-filled days all year round'Äîhiking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, and camping under the stars. They see Olympic Center, the Great Camps, and the sights in Glens Falls and Fort Ticonderoga too! For ages 2-5. Made in the USA.

  2. The Loch Ness Lock-In - The ragtag scout troop returns in a new adventure—this time, to solve a mystery surrounding the famed Loch Ness Monster. Some scouts spend their weekends weaving baskets, but if you’re a Strange Scout you spend them tagging Massachusetts Pukwudgies (harder than it sounds—Pukwudgies like to set things on fire). Troop Danger has come a long way from their Troop Dweeb days, but nothing can prepare them for what’s next: The Strange Scouts Annual Loch Ness Lock-In! Once a year, Strange Scout troops from around the world are invited to test their scouting skills in an old lighthouse on the shore of the infamous Loch Ness. But when the area surrounding Loch Ness suffers unusual damage, evidence points to a dastardly plot to frame Nessie herself! Can the Strange Scouts’ newest troop clear Nessie’s name and earn their badges before it’s too late?

Books About Outdoor Activities and The Environment

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All Aboard! Pacific Northwest
Written by Kevin Meyers and Haily Meyers & illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Every part of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. In the latest title of this popular board book series, babies and parents climb aboard to explore the Pacific Northwest and its fun activities, from shopping, to hiking, to skiing, and more! Ride along from Oregon to Washington to British Columbia to discover cities like Portland, Vancouver, and Seattle and sights like Mt. Rainier and Haystack Rock. All aboard for a sensational experience in travel! Haily and Kevin Meyers are the husband and wife team behind the dazzling baby product line, Lucy Darling (lucydarling.com). Haily’s design work can be seen on their unique monthly sticker designs, nursery art prints, baby memory books, and multiple baby products. Their work has been featured in Pregnancy and Newborn magazine, Red Tricycle, Babiekins Magazine, Cool Mom Picks, KIWI magazine, Mollie Makes magazine, Fresh Style magazine, Mom Trends, HGTV Canada, and specialty baby shops worldwide. They live in Arizona.

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Boil Line
Written by M.J. McIsaac
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Camp Clearwater is home to best friends Nate, Owen and Mercy. They practically grew up on the Starling River. But the summer they turn sixteen an incident forces the camp to close its doors. Mike Elliot, the river guide who taught the teens everything they know, is lost to the rapids. A tragic accident, everyone agrees. Except for Nate. Mike was the best kayaker he’d ever met. The smartest. The safest. He respected and loved the river, and as far as Nate is concerned, the river loved Mike back. If his instructor was pulled under by the Starling, then Nate is sure foul play was involved. To find the truth, Nate must face his greatest fears as he retraces Mike’s final run through the Black Hole, the most treacherous waters on the Starling.

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The Not-So Great Outdoors
Written & illustrated by Madeline Kloepper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A reluctant camper discovers that the (not-so) great outdoors can be just as exciting as screens and skyscrapers in this playful picture book celebration of the pleasures of unplugging and embracing nature. What’s so great about the “great outdoors”? A grumpy urban kid begrudgingly accompanies her family on a summer camping trip, missing all the sublime sights right under her nose as she longs for the lights and stimulation of the city. But as she explores forests, lakes and mountains, and encounters bears, beavers and caribou, she slowly comes to realize that the simpler things are just as sparkly, that the sky is its own majestic light show, and the symphony is all around. The Not-So Great Outdoors is a humorous and richly imagined reminder of the beauty and magic that can be found away from the city and our screens.

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  1. Seeking an Aurora - In the quiet of the night, a child's father bundles them up and shows them the majesty of an aurora. This book is perfect for those who love Owl Moon.

  2. Camp Rex - What could be more fun than a camping trip with a good friend? When that friend is T. Rex! It’s important to set a few wilderness safety guidelines first. . . like making sure he stays on the trail. And does not disturb the local wildlife. And knows how to build a safe campfire. But sometimes dinosaurs have a different way of doing things, and that’s why it’s best to be prepared . . . for anything! Following in the extremely large and funny footsteps of Tea Rex, Camp Rex is for anyone who loves to roast a marshmallow or two around the campfire . . . or the whole bag at once!

  3. The Camping Trip That Changed America - Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein captures the majestic redwoods of Yosemite in this little-known but important story from our nation’s history. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt joined naturalist John Muir on a trip to Yosemite. Camping by themselves in the uncharted woods, the two men saw sights and held discussions that would ultimately lead to the establishment of our National Parks.

  4. Our Great Big Backyard - To help commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the National Park Service, #1 New York Times bestselling authors former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna Bush Hager have created an exuberant picture book tribute to our national parks and the importance and fun of connecting with nature. Our Great Big Backyard follows Jane, whose plans of spending the summer playing video games with her friends are dashed when her parents announce that her family is going on a road trip to national parks around the country. Yet somewhere between the Everglades and Big Bend National Park, things begin to change. Jane starts paying attention to the magnificent sights and spends less time looking at her screen. The stunning views open up her imagination as she and her brother see everything that nature has to offer. And the more Jane discovers, the more she realizes how much there is to love about the outdoors—whether she’s in a national park across the country or right in her own backyard.

Books About Outdoor Activities and Social Themes

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I Love You the Purplest
Written by Barbara M. Joosse & illustrated by Mary Whyte
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

From the bestselling author of Mama, Do You Love Me?— and finally available in a board book format—this classic read-aloud provides a poetic and comforting answer to a universal question: Who do you love more? In this warm celebration of unconditional love, a wise mother reassures her children that each of them has a very special place in her heart, making this a perfect gift for the whole family.

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Tiny T. Rex and the Very Dark Dark
Written by Jonathan Stutzman & illustrated by Jay Fleck
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The adorable and indomitable Tiny T. Rex from the critically acclaimed Tiny T. Rex and The Impossible Hug is back in a tale about friendship and overcoming your fears.

Tiny T. Rex and his friend Pointy are having a campout in the backyard! It is what best friends do. But without their nighty-lights, the dark outside suddenly seems VERY dark . . . and very full of spooky things. Good thing Tiny has a super-secret plan to keep the dark at bay! Full of warmth and plenty of laughs, this new adventure starring Tiny T. Rex shows that friends will always find a way to face their fears together—even when those fears are not what they seem!

• A great read-aloud book for parents and children • Hip, colorful art and delightful text make Tiny T. Rex an instant favorite of any dinosaur-loving toddler. • A perfect book to help toddlers and children overcome a fear of the dark

Fans of silly picture books like Dinosaur vs Bedtime, We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, and Llama Destroys the World will love the sweet spirit and continuing adventures of Tiny T. Rex.

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A Day for Skating
Written by Sarah Sullivan & illustrated by Madeline Valentine
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In a sweet rhyming tale, a young child’s first skating adventure on a frozen pond ends with a cozy bedtime story. Tap and step, then slide and turn. Whoops! Fall down. That’s how we learn. On a brisk winter’s day, the frozen pond is crisscrossed by figure skaters, hockey players, new skaters, and old pros, all gliding across the ice. It’s time to bundle up, lace your skates, and give it a try — then head inside for cocoa and snacks when your cheeks grow rosy and your toes are cold. Back at home, warm bedtime rituals make for the end of a perfect day. But when darkness falls at the pond, who will come out to skate?

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  1. Camping with Unicorns (Phoebe and Her Unicorn Series Book 11), Volume 11: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure - Life is never boring when your best friend is a unicorn! The latest installment in this bestselling series is full of mischief, magic and adventure -- as well as an important reminder to always stay true to yourself.

  2. Let's Have a Sleepover! - Harry is going to his first sleepover!

  3. The Little Fish That Got Away - The classic story illustrated by Crockett Johnson, the creator of Harold and the Purple Crayon, about a young boy who goes out fishing and the little fish that gets away—now with a fresh new jacket design! A little boy goes fishing every day, but he never catches anything—no, not a single fish. So he waits. He waits and waits and waits and waits, and one day, a GREAT GREAT big fish swims by…. A favorite for generations, this witty twist on an old fisherman’s tale featuring an updated look is certain to hook new fans!

  4. What a Lucky Day! - Four animals are off to the lake to go fishing, but each thinks the other will wreck their day. <p></p><p>Raccoons are thieves.</p><p>Frogs give you warts.</p><p>Storks deliver babies.</p><p></p><p>Wait. What?</p><p>Where did these crazy ideas come from?</p><p></p><p>As this wryly humorous and thoroughly satisfying tale shows, it’s a mistake to judge others on what you’ve heard–and there’s plenty of luck for everyone.</p>

Books About Outdoor Activities and Friendship

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Dear Yeti
Written & illustrated by James Kwan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A sweet and whimsical story of a perfect kid-sized winter adventure, Dear Yeti is the debut picture book of an author/illustrator to watch.

Two young hikers set out to look for Yeti one day, and with the help of a bird friend, they trek further and further into the woods, sending letters to coax the shy creature out of hiding. But as their trip goes on, the hikers find that they have not prepared very well, and though their morale is high, food supplies are low, the forest is getting darker, and a snowstorm looms. Luckily Yeti is a friend they can rely on, and though he’s not ready to come out of hiding, he sneakily finds a way to get the hikers exactly what they need when they need it.

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Eva's Campfire Adventure
Written & illustrated by Rebecca Elliott
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
Eva and her friends are going camping!
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Adventures with Waffles
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11
Lena is Trille's best friend, even if she is a girl. And there is never an ordinary day when you've got a best friend like Lena.
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  1. Alien Scout - In the third book of the Alien Next Door series, Harris knows Zeke is an alien, and they go away for a weekend trip as Beaver Scouts. Will Harris be able to help Zeke keep his secret when another scout starts suspecting something? Zeke has revealed to Harris that he’s an alien and Harris is thrilled to have an alien best friend! This weekend, Harris has a Beaver Scout outing in the wilderness, so he invites Zeke to join in on the fun. Zeke doesn’t quite understand all the activities, like sleeping outside and telling ghost stories, and he is a little careless with using his powers, which leads one scout to become a little suspicious. Will Harris be able to help Zeke hide his identity from everyone?

  2. Megabat Is a Fraidybat - Megabat and his best friend, Daniel, go to sleepaway camp for the first time. Another hilarious chapter book in this laugh-out-loud series for fans of Dory Fantasmagory and Narwhal and Jelly. Daniel is not so sure about going to camp. There will be bugs. And uncomfortable beds. And leeches! Megabat can’t WAIT to go to camp! There will be so much smooshfruit, and he loves a good sing-along. Daniel starts to think camp isn’t so bad. He’s made friends, and his bed isn’t THAT uncomfortable. Megabat has made a new friend too. But his new friend wants him to go flying to spooky caves. And her mom is very toothy. As Daniel is getting into the swing of things and starting to enjoy camp, Megabat is getting himself into one tangle after another to avoid going into the scary woods. But can Megabat overcome his fears to help save his new friend? Kass Reich’s adorable illustrations paired with Anna Humphrey’s hilarious text make for another unforgettable Megabat adventure, one that will appeal to Megabat fans and newcomers!

  3. Hattie and Hudson - A little girl and her colossal friend teach a monster-size lesson about prejudging others in a charming offering from Chris Van Dusen. Hattie McFadden is a born explorer. Every morning she grabs her life jacket and paddles out in her canoe to discover something new on the lake, singing a little song on her way. When her singing draws up from the depths a huge mysterious beast, everyone in town is terrified — except Hattie, who looks into the creature’s friendly, curious eyes and knows that this is no monster. So Hattie sneaks out at night to see the giant — whom she names Hudson — and the two become friends. But how can she make the frightened, hostile townspeople see that Hudson isn’t scary or dangerous at all? Chris Van Dusen brings his colorful, perspective-bending artwork to this satisfying new story about acceptance, friendship, and sticking up for those who are different.

  4. Monster and Mouse Go Camping - It takes a little convincing, but with the promise of food, Monster decides to join Mouse on a camping trip. Things quickly go awry when Mouse takes off to explore, because, well, Monster gets hungry. He starts with just a little snack—the lantern. And the sleeping bags are hard to resist. Then the tent . . . Stranded in the wild with no supplies, what are a monster and a mouse to do? Join these friends on an unforgettable camping trip, perfect for reading snuggled in a sleeping bag or curled on a couch.

Books About Outdoor Activities and Camps

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Pippa's Island 4: Camp Castaway
Written & illustrated by Belinda Murrell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

The students in class 5M are heading off to camp. Pippa has never been away to camp before, at least not to a deserted tropical island! Everyone looks forward to five blissful days exploring Shipwreck Island’s beaches and lagoon. But when the teams get regrouped, Pippa has to learn to cooperate with the other girls. Mrs. Marshall promised challenges and adventure, but she forgot to mention the pranks. After one too many of the boys’ tricks, the girls decide to take their revenge. Will class 5M survive Camp Castaway?

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Heidi Heckelbeck Goes to Camp!
Written by Wanda Coven & illustrated by Priscilla Burris
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9
When Heidi has trouble making friends at camp, she discovers that courage can be even more powerful than magic!
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Camp Dork
Written & illustrated by Beth Vrabel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The pack of dorks heads to camp—and this time the bully they face might just be one of their own. Sheldon convinces Lucy, Sam, April, and Amanda to join him at Camp Paleo. Like cavemen, the campers are going to have to make do without air conditioning, and they’ll dig for fossils during the day. And Grandma’s coming too—as the lunch lady for the camp next door. But Sam backs out at the last minute to attend a gymnastics camp instead. Lucy wonders why she misses him so much—it’s not like he’s her boyfriend. Why does the word “boyfriend” make her blush? She needs a distraction. Enter Mr. Bosserman, the grouchy camp leader who won’t budge on the camp’s caveman theme. The old man needs some softening up, and Lucy knows just the person for the job: Grandma. One successful match made, Lucy starts to see potential lovebirds everywhere. But when the wrong campers pair up, the pack falls apart, all under the watchful eye of a secret blogger who’s been writing about the camp’s activities. Even worse? A thief is targeting everyone but Lucy, setting her up to look guilty. Soon Lucy finds herself alone, left to fix the messes she’s made. If she fails, the pack may be splintered for good.

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  1. A Campfire Tale - “Ever been stuck with a friend who’s totally uncool—and worried that it will rub off on you? Welcome to Camp Wildwood! It’s Dragon’s first day, and his buddy would LIKE to show him a good time. But Dragon doesn’t seem to fit in with the boys and girls. He overturns the boat, ruins the puppet show, and even sets the tent on fire. Then, just as his buddy is about to give up, Dragon comes through in a pinch. This sweet, funny picture book teaches an important lesson about the true meaning of friendship—and in accepting the strengths and weaknesses of others.”

  2. Unplugged - From New York Times bestselling author Gordon Korman comes a hilarious middle grade novel about a group of kids forced to “unplug” at a wellness camp–where they instead find intrigue, adventure, and a whole lot of chaos. Perfect for fans of Korman’s The Unteachables and Masterminds series, as well as Carl Hiaasen’s eco mysteries. As the son of the world’s most famous tech billionaire, spoiled Jett Baranov has always gotten what he wanted. So when his father’s private jet drops him in the middle of a place called the Oasis, Jett can’t believe it. He’s forced to hand over his cell phone, eat grainy veggie patties, and participate in wholesome activities with the other kids whom he has absolutely no interest in hanging out with. As the weeks go on, Jett starts to get used to the unplugged life and even bonds with the other kids over their discovery of a baby-lizard-turned-pet, Needles. But he can’t help noticing that the adults at the Oasis are acting really strange. Could it be all those suspicious “meditation” sessions? Jett is determined to get to the bottom of things, but can he convince the other kids that he is no longer just a spoiled brat making trouble?

  3. The Moon Is Up - Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin–Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley–love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella’s, where the woods contain endless mysteries. As the camp gears up for the big Galaxy Wars competition, Jo and the gang get some help from an unexpected visitor–a Moon Pirate! Book Two will focus on Jo, the ingenious inventor of the group who also happens to be trans.

  4. Lions & Liars - Holes meets The Goonies in the highly anticipated second middle-grade novel from the author of Gertie’s Leap to Greatness!

Books About Outdoor Activities and Dogs

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Shark Dog and the School Trip Rescue!
Written & illustrated by Ged Adamson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Splash! It’s a shark! Woof! No wait, it’s a dog! Hey! It’s Shark Dog: a one-of-a-kind pet! And this time, he’s joining Ms. Ablett’s class on their school trip. For Shark Dog, a trip to the woods means: Jumping in a pond full of frogs! Frolicking in mud! And shaking off mud! The great outdoors is loads of fun and nothing short of an adventure for a pet like Shark Dog. But the muddy fun stops when there’s a loud cry coming from the woods. An animal is in trouble, and it’s up to Shark Dog to save the day! FOLLOW THAT SHARK DOG! From author-illustrator Ged Adamson, Shark Dog and the School Trip Rescue! is the perfect back-to-school book for fans of such favorites as Hello, My Name Is Octicorn, Not Quite Narwhal, and The Adventures of Beekle.

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Wedgie & Gizmo vs. the Great Outdoors
Written by Suzanne Selfors
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

"A delightfully fun read that will leave you in stitches!"--Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat

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Bad Kitty Camp Daze
Written & illustrated by Nick Bruel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Kitty’s life is really hard. Like really, REALLY hard. All she asks for is twenty-two hours a day to sleep and food to be delivered morning and night. But does she get it? No. And when Puppy and Baby get a little rambunctious during her naptime, Kitty gets bonked on the head and starts to believe she’s . . . a dog.

This new dynamic freaks out Puppy, so he’s sent away to Uncle Murray’s Camp for Stressed-Out Dogs to relax with other canine campers. But guess who sneaks along?

Still believing she’s a dog, Kitty fits right in. That is until she and Uncle Murray encounter a bear, and then the feline claws come out. Perfect for any kid with or without camping experience.

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  1. Ladybug Girl and Bingo - This hardcover picture book in the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series explores the theme of responsibility for a pet and the fun of a first camping trip. Lulu and her dog Bingo the basset hound are best friends. Whenever they play outside, Bingo always stays close by Lulu’s side. When they go camping for the first time, Lulu does her best to be responsible and hold tight to Bingo’s leash. But what happens when Bingo wants to explore the forest on his own and runs off? This is a job for Ladybug Girl! She will find Bingo in time for toasting marshmallows at the campfire. For fans of Fancy Nancy and Toot and Puddle, the Ladybug Girl series honors a love of the outdoors, family, and creativity!

  2. Spot Goes to the Beach - Everyone’s favorite puppy takes a trip to the beach in this board book adventure! It’s a sunny day at the beach–and Spot is ready to have some fun and make new friends. Spot loves building sandcastles, but this time he decides to try something new: surfing! Spend a day at the beach along with Spot, his parents, and his new friends!

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Books About Outdoor Activities and Culture

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Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of the Dark
Written by Katie Tsang and Kevin Tsang & illustrated by Nathan Reed
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

Sam Wu is NOT afraid of the dark. But it’s hard to prove you’re brave when you’re about to face your greatest challenge: camping. That means confronting terrifying things like grizzly bears, vampire bats, aliens, and the worst person in the WHOLE UNIVERSE–Ralph ZInkerman! When something starts haunting the woods, can Sam and his crew band together to become Masters of the Dark? And could they even have . . . FUN?

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Astrid and Apollo and the Fishing Flop
Written by V. T. Bidania & illustrated by Dara Lashia Lee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s the twins’ first time fishing. Astrid and Apollo can’t wait to ride on their Uncle Lue’s fast boat and get goofy pictures with all the fish they catch. But Apollo keeps catching things that are not fish! When a storm brings them to shore, Apollo starts to feel like he’s a fishing failure. Can the twins turn the day around and help Apollo find the fun in fishing?

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Astrid and Apollo and the Starry Campout
Written by V. T. Bidania & illustrated by Dara Lashia Lee
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Astrid is afraid of the dark and doesn’t want to go on her family camping trip. But her twin brother, Apollo, is excited. When they encounter scary things such as crawly bugs and the creepy dark, Apollo helps his twin through them. And when they encounter the scariest thing of all, Astrid might just be the one to save the starry campout.

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  1. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters - Here’s the second book in the beloved and hilarious Alvin Ho chapter book series, which has been compared to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and is perfect for both beginning and reluctant readers. <p/>Alvin, an Asian American second grader who’s afraid of <i>everything</i>, is back, and his worst fear has come true: <i>he has to go camping. </i>What will he do exposed in the wilderness with bears and darkness and . . . pit toilets? Luckily, he’s got his night-vision goggles and water purifying tablets and super-duper heavy-duty flashlight to keep him safe. And he’s got his dad, too. <p/> From Lenore Look and <i>New York Times</i> bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham comes a drop-dead-funny and touching series with a truly unforgettable character. <p/>”Shares with Diary of a Wimpy Kid the humor that stems from trying to manipulate the world.” –<i>Newsday</i> <p/> “Alvin’s a winner.” –<i>New York Post</i>

  2. Swallows and Amazons - Friendship, resourcefulness, adventures! Here's the classic tale of two families of children who band together against a common foe: an uncle who claims he's too busy for his nieces. The Walker children (John, Susan, Titty and Roger) are on school holiday in the Lake District and are sailing a borrowed catboat named "Swallow," when they meet the Blackett children (Nancy and Peggy), who sail the boat, "Amazon." The children camp together on Wild Cat Island where a plot is hatched against the Blackett's Uncle Jim who is too busy writing his memoirs to be disturbed. Fireworks--literally--ensue along with a dangerous contest, a run-in with houseboat burglars, and the theft of Uncle Jim's manuscript. How all this is resolved makes for an exciting and very satisfying story. Uncle Jim ends up apologizing for missing his nieces' adventures all summer--thankfully, readers won't miss a thing. Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series has stood the test of time. More than just great stories, each one celebrates independence and initiative with a colorful, large cast of characters. Like the entire series that follows, this book is for children or grownups, anyone captivated by a world of adventure and imagination, exploring and setting sail.

  3. Banner in the Sky - It stands unconquered, the last great summit of the Alps. Only one man has ever dared to approach the top, and that man died in his pursuit. He was Josef Matt, Rudi Matt’s father. <P>At sixteen, Rudi is determined to pay tribute to the man he never knew, and complete the quest that claimed his father’s life. And so, taking his father’s red shirt as a flag, he heads off to face the earth’s most challenging peak. But before Rudi can reach the top, he must pass through the forbidden Fortress, the gaping chasm in the high reaches of the Citadel where his father met his end. Rudi has followed Josef’s footsteps as far as they will take him. Now he must search deep within himself to find the strength for the final ascent to the summit - to plant his banner in the sky.

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Books About Outdoor Activities and Girls And Women

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The Canyon's Edge
Written by Dusti Bowling
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13
Hatchet meets Long Way Down in this heartfelt and gripping novel in verse about a young girl's struggle for survival after a climbing trip with her father goes terribly wrong.
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Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail
Written & illustrated by Jennifer Thermes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

“Emma Gatewood’s life was far from easy. In rural Ohio, she managed a household of eleven kids alongside a less-than-supportive husband. One day, at age 67, she decided to go for a nice long walk. . . and ended up at the other end of the Appalachain Trail. With just the clothes on her back and a pair of thin canvas sneakers on her feet, Grandma Gatewood hiked up ridges and down ravines. She braved angry storms and witnessed breathtaking sunrises. When things got particulary tough, she relied on the kindness of strangers or sheer dumb luck to get her through the night. When the newpapers got wind of her amazing adventure, the whole country cheered her on to the end of her trek, which came just a few months after she set out. A story of real resilience and hardcore lady power, Grandma Gatewood proves that no peak is insurmountable. After all, at age 83, she hiked the whole trail again (sneakers and all)”–

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The Girls of Firefly Cabin
Written by Cynthia Ellingsen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Lauren, Isla, Jade, and Archer meet the first day of summer camp, and friendship magic is made in Firefly Cabin. If only they could immortalize their summer memories by winning the contest to be the face of the camp’s website. But it won’t be easy; not with rival cabins, distracting crushes, and of course, the girl’s own secrets getting in the way. Can friendship–and the Fireflies–triumph over all?

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  1. Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm - Will Judy’s lucky penny lead her to the nation’s capital – or to third-grade C-A-L-A-M-I-T-Y? And what do her spelling-bee nemesis and a potbellied pig have to do with it? The lucky penny in Judy Moody’s pocket sure does seem to be working. She can’t stop winning – at bowling, spelling, the unbeatable Prize Claw, everything! For sure and absolute positive, she’ll ride that wave of good fortune all the way to Washington, D.C. Watch out, District of Cool, here comes Judy Moody, the luckiest kid ever, until . . . oh, no! Her lucky penny just did a belly flop into a porcelain bowl of yucky, blucky UNluck. Has the coin’s magic gone kerflooey?Are some people, like Jessica Finch or Stink, destined to have all the luck, while she, Judy Moody, gets stuck with a yard full of three-not-four leaf clovers, a squealing potbellied pig in an elevator, and a squashed penny with cooties? ROAR!

  2. Rating Your Bunkmates and Other Camp Crimes - Twelve-year-old Abigail Hensley is a socially awkward aspiring anthropologist who has always had trouble connecting with her peers. Abigail is hopeful that a week at sleepaway camp is the answer to finally making a friend. After all, her extensive research shows that summer camp is the best place to make lifelong connections. Using her tried-and-true research methods, Abigail begins to study her cabinmates for friendship potential. But just when it seems that she is off to a good start, her bunkmate’s phone gets stolen, and Abigail is the main suspect. Can she clear her name, find the real culprit, and make a friend before the week is done?

  3. The Good Egg - Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin–Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley–love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella’s, where the woods contain endless mysteries. Book three shines the spotlight on Ripley, the smallest, youngest, most animal-loving member of the cabin. When Ripley comes across an abandoned egg, she’s determined to take care of it until the parent comes back. Unfortunately, her plan is quickly foiled by egg poachers, who steal the egg for their own collection.

  4. Lumberjanes: Ghost Cabin (Lumberjanes #4) - Based on the bestselling graphic novels, this series of middle-grade novels contains all-new adventures Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin–Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley–love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella’s, where the woods contain endless mysteries. Book four, the last book of the novel series, will shine the spotlight on inseparable couple Mal and Molly, who find an extra cabin at camp, one that’s full of ghosts!

Books About Outdoor Activities and Family Life

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The Deep End
Written & illustrated by Jeff Kinney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
In The Deep End, book 15 of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series from #1 international bestselling author Jeff Kinney, Greg Heffley and his family hit the road for a cross-country camping trip, ​ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
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Piper Reed, Campfire Girl
Written by Kimberly Willis Holt & illustrated by Christine Davenier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Fifth-grader Piper and her sisters are thrilled about their first-ever camping trip until they learn it will be at Halloween, but other Navy families join them, including an annoying new member of the Gypsy Club.

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Charlie & Mouse Outdoors
Written by Laurel Snyder & illustrated by Emily Hughes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Charlie & Mouse continue their adventures in this heartwarming tale perfect for newly independent readers.
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  1. Camp Tiger - A talking tiger approaches a family during their annual end-of-summer camping trip and is befriended by the youngest, a boy who does not feel ready for first grade.

  2. McTavish Goes Wild - When a camping trip unleashes a reluctant Peachey family on the great outdoors, it's up to their savvy dog, McTavish, to show them how it's done.

  3. Hiking Day - Beloved author Anne Rockwell celebrates nature and the outdoors with a gorgeous new picture book about a child’s first mountain hike! A young girl and her family go hiking up a nearby mountain for the very first time. As they climb up and up the path, they see everything from a friendly toad to a prickly porcupine, tall leafy trees to tiny red berries. Anne Rockwell and her daughter, artist Lizzy Rockwell, celebrate a day the little girl will never forget, especially when she reaches the mountain’s summit. With simple, lyrical text and bright illustrations that jump off the page, Hiking Day brings the joys of spending an afternoon outdoors to life.

  4. Down by the River - One beautiful autumn day, Art sets out with his mother and grandfather for a fishing trip. Fishing days are Art’s favorite. He loves learning the ropes from Grandpa—the different kinds of flies and tackle and the trout that frequent their favorite river. Art especially appreciates Grandpa’s stories. But, this time, hearing the story about Mom’s big catch on her first cast ever makes Art feel insecure about his own fishing skills. But, as Art hooks a beautiful brown trout, he finds reassurance in Grandpa’s stories and marvels in the sport and a day spent with family, promising to continue the tradition with his own grandkids generations later.

Books About Outdoor Activities and Cats

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Space Cat-astrophe: My FANGtastically Evil Vampire Pet
Written by Mo O'Hara & illustrated by Marek Jagucki
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

In the second book of this FANGtastic spin-off of Mo O’Hara’s New York Times—bestselling My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish chapter book series, an aspiring evil scientist and his mostly evil (and totally forbidden) vampire kitten blast off to Evil Scientist Space Camp. My epic summer has just gotten even more epic, because Evil Scientist Summer Camp just turned into Evil Scientist Space Camp! AND it will be led by the totally epic evil astronaut Neil Strongarm! Who is looking for evil apprentices for his next space mission! Which means that I could totally go into SPACE!!! I’m already well on my way to Evil Emperor of the Camp. Winning this competition should be easy. Okay, so maybe I didn’t expect Geeky Girl to be quite so good at being evil, but I know I’ve got this. All I need is a plan. Hmmm . . . I wonder if you can take evil kittens on space stations. Let the Epic Evil Spaceness begin. Signed, The Great and Powerful Mark

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Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Book Three: Cookie Catastrophe
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Ah, the great outdoors. Tents, sleeping bags, nature walks, campfires . . . and maybe a few spells thrown in for good measure! In this entry in the series, Salem takes her first camping trip with the Squirrel Girls, but neither Whammy nor Salem is cut out for roughing it. Salem believes a bit of magic will smooth the way . . . but as usual, it creates more problems than it solves. Salem and Whammy are an irresistible duo in a book perfect for the youngest independent readers.

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Pete the Cat Goes Camping
Written & illustrated by James Dean
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

New York Times bestselling author and artist James Dean takes readers along for an outdoor adventure with Pete the Cat!

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  1. Kit and Kaboodle Go Camping - Stories + Puzzles = Reading Success! Highlights Puzzle Readers offer an innovative approach to learning to read that integrates puzzles and stories to develop motivated, confident readers.

  2. My FANGtastically Evil Vampire Pet - This epic spin-off of Mo O’Hara’s New York Times bestselling My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish series features an aspiring evil scientist, paranormal pets, and plenty of hilarious summer camp shenanigans. Welcome to Camp Mwhaaa-haa-ha-a-watha! This summer is going to be epic. Epically evil, that is. ‘Cause I’m going to Evil Scientist Summer Camp! No annoying little brothers. No annoying zombie goldfish. Just me, my best friend Sanj, our notebook of evil plans, and my truly evil (and totally forbidden) vampire kitten Fang. We’ve got it all planned out. Okay, so maybe I didn’t expect for the totally not-evil Geeky Girl to show up, or for Sanj to find a new partner to work with, but there’s no way I’m going to let them ruin my summer. Evil Emperor of the Camp, here I come! Signed, The Great and Powerful Mark

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