94+ Children's Books About Rescue

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Appleblossom the Possum book
#1
Appleblossom the Possum
Written by and illustrated by Holly Goldberg Sloan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human family—and accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brothers—who launch a hilarious rescue mission—and even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinating the big world can be. But they’re about to find out! With dynamic illustrations, a tight-knit family, and a glimpse at the world from a charming little marsupial’s point of view, this cozy animal story is a perfect read-aloud and a classic in the making.

This Is the Firefighter book
#2
This Is the Firefighter
Written by Laura Godwin and illustrated by Julian Hector
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

The fire alarm sounds. The firefighter jumps in the truck and races to a daring rescue! Get ready for an adventure as Laura Godwin and Julian Hector celebrate one of our bravest everyday heroes in this board-book edition for little hands. Praise for This is the Firefighter (hardcover edition) "With its swift action, catchy verse, and appropriate palette (red, white, blue, and flame), this should find good use among preschool vehicle enthusiasts and new readers as well as in the 'community helpers' unit." -The Horn Book

Rocket Shoes book
#3
Rocket Shoes
Written by Sharon Skinner and illustrated by Ward Jenkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Jose dreams of flying. So he buys some rocket shoes and jets into the atmosphere. But all those spins, kicks, and airborne tricks cause such a ruckus that the mayor bans the shoes. Then, during a terrible snowstorm, Jose hears a cry: his neighbor's in danger--and he can only help her if he flies. Will Jose dare to break the rules and save the day?

The Storm Whale in Winter book
#4
The Storm Whale in Winter
Written and illustrated by Benji Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this sequel to The Storm Whale, the boy, Noi, is caught in a storm at sea and his whale friend comes to his rescue. When Noi's dad sails out on one last fishing trip before winter, Noi waits for him at home. But as the storm worsens and his dad does not return, Noi decides to go looking for his dad. But the storm is powerful and dangerous, and soon Noi, too, is stuck in the icy sea. When it seems that all hope is lost, a friend comes to help Noi and his father. Poignant and evocative, this is a beautiful celebration of friendship and family, and the special bond between a father and son.

Stuck book
#5
Stuck
Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

From the illustrator of the #1 smash The Day the Crayons Quit comes another bestseller–a giggle-inducing tale of everything tossed, thrown, and hurled in order to free a kite! When Floyd’s kite gets stuck in a tree, he’s determined to get it out. But how? Well, by knocking it down with his shoe, of course. But strangely enough, it too gets stuck. And the only logical course of action . . . is to throw his other shoe. Only now it’s stuck! Surely there must be something he can use to get his kite unstuck. An orangutan? A boat? His front door? Yes, yes, and yes. And that’s only the beginning. Stuck is Oliver Jeffers’ most absurdly funny story since The Incredible Book-Eating Boy. Childlike in concept and vibrantly illustrated as only Oliver Jeffers could, here is a picture book worth rescuing from any tree.

Elecopter book
#6
Elecopter
Written and illustrated by Michael Slack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A chant-along companion to Monkey Truck features a heroic, fire-fighting elephant who bravely patrols the skies above the Savannah with her fire-hose nose, putting out fires and rescuing her fellow animals.

Oakwing book
#7
Oakwing
Written and illustrated by EJ Clarke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

After Rowan is mysteriously transformed into a tiny fairy, she is thrust into a world of fairy clans and talking robins where, she discovers, her long-missing mother is also trapped.

Turtle Tug to the Rescue book
#8
Turtle Tug to the Rescue
Written and illustrated by Michael Slack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Turtle Tug is on the lookout! This chugging, tugging turtle powers through gusty winds and treacherous tides, combing the seas to protect his friends from a dangerous storm. From panicking puffins to entangled sperm whales, Turtle Tug is out to rescue all his sea-dwelling friends. He's a turtle tugboat on a mission to make the world a safer place.

Otis book
#9
Otis
Written and illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Meet Otis, everyone’s favorite tractor, created by the bestselling illustrator of Love by Matt de la Pena and The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper New York Times bestselling author/artist Loren Long creates an unforgettable children’s classic. Otis is a special tractor. He loves his farmer and he loves to work. And he loves the little calf in the next stall, whom he purrs to sleep with his soft motor. In fact, the two become great friends: they play in the fields, leap hay bales, and play ring-around-the-rosy by Mud Pond. But when Otis is replaced with the big yellow tractor, he is cast away behind the barn, unused, unnoticed . . . until the little calf gets stuck in Mud Pond. Then there is only one tractor—and it’s not big or yellow—who can come to the rescue. It is little old Otis who saves his friend. It is Otis who saves the day. In a wonderful new palette, and in the tradition of classics like Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and The Story of Ferdinand, Loren Long has crafted an unforgettable new story—and character—celebrating the power of friendship and perseverance.

To the Rescue! book
#10
To the Rescue!
Written by Kate Riggs and illustrated by Nate Williams
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

From propellers that whir to lights that flash, rescue vehicles attract everyone's attention! To the Rescue! offers up a fun, foundational introduction to six helpful vehicles that are sure to fascinate every preschool learner. Simple, rhythmical text introduces each automobile or aircraft by its definitive action. Whimsical illustrations, meanwhile, pair emergency situations with friendly characters. Set within a durable board book format, this is a title all young readers will race to save from the bookshelf!

Little Pig Saves the Ship book
#11
Little Pig Saves the Ship
Written and illustrated by David Hyde Costello
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Little Pig is back in Little Pig Saves the Ship! When the sea-faring pigs go a-sailing! Intrepid Little Pig — still the littlest pig in the family — is too little to go to summer camp with his older brothers and sisters. He is left behind with Grandpa and Poppy. Little Pig and Poppy make and sail a toy ship all week, but on Saturday a gusty wind takes the ship into the current, and Little Pig has to use his newfound knot-tying skills to save the day. A sweetly told intergenerational story about how even the littlest can make a big difference.

Otis and the Kittens book
#12
Otis and the Kittens
Written and illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On the farm where Otis the tractor lives, it hasn’t rained in a long time and farmers all over the valley have grown anxious with water in such short supply. One hot afternoon, when Otis and his friends are resting beneath the shade of the apple tree, Otis spots something moving down in the valley—an orange tabby cat headed straight for the old barn. But then Otis sees something else that causes his engine to sputter . . . a swirl of smoke coming from the same barn. A fire! As Otis races toward the fire with his friends in tow, he spots the tabby cat mewing in alarm. Otis rushes inside to discover the source of the cat’s worries–her little kittens are perched up on the hayloft, scared. Otis never hesitates. Yet even after he delivers a tractor full of kittens safely outside, their mama remains upset. Re-entering the burning barn, Otis discovers why: one tiny kitten, still too scared to move. With a friendly chuff, Otis coaxes her down and she scampers out the door. That’s when the floor collapses with a CRASH, trapping the tractor. Now Otis, the friend everyone can count on, must count on his friends. Told with a sense of play and devotion, this is a heartwarming tale that reminds readers that sometimes even those who we count on to help us need a little help themselves. From the creator of Otis, Otis and the Puppy, and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama.

The Snail And the Whale book
#13
The Snail And the Whale
Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When a tiny snail meets a humpback whale, the two travel together to far-off lands. It’s a dream come true for the snail, who has never left home before. But when the whale swims too close to shore, will the snail be able to save her new friend?

Madeline's Rescue book
#14
Madeline's Rescue
Written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines the smallest one was Madeline.” Nothing frightens Madeline—not tigers, not even mice. With its endearing, courageous heroine, cheerful humor, and wonderful, whimsical drawings of Paris, the Madeline stories are true classics that continue to charm readers even after 75 years! When Madeline falls into the river Seine and nearly drowns, a courageous canine comes to her rescue. Now Genevieve the dog is Madeline’s cherished pet, and the envy of all the other girls. What can be done when there’s just not enough hound to go around?

Second Banana book
#15
Second Banana
Written and illustrated by Keith Graves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

"A picture book about Oop, a gorilla, who is second banana to The Amazing Mr. Bubbles, a monkey, until one day, Mr. Bubbles finds himself in trouble and Oop has to save the day"--

Mighty Tug book
#16
Mighty Tug
Written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and illustrated by David Mottram
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From early in the morning until time to say, "Good night," Mighty Tug works in the busy harbor, guiding cargo ships, pulling barges, and helping with rescues.

The Firefighter book
#17
The Firefighter
Written by Jenny Goebel and illustrated by Alessandra Psacharopulo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Brr-ring! Up pops a fireman at the sound of the fire station alarm, and he rushes with his crew to put out a house fire in a nearby neighborhood. The family is safe, but one of their Dalmatian puppies is missing! It’s up to the brave fireman to rescue the pup from the burning house—and in the process, he finds himself a new firehouse friend.

Read the Book, Lemmings! book
#18
Read the Book, Lemmings!
Written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The team behind the New York Times bestselling Wolfie the Bunny and Horrible Bear! is back with with new Arctic characters in this hilarious learning-to-read adventure! Aboard the S.S. Cliff, First Mate Foxy reads an interesting fact: "Lemmings don't jump off cliffs." But Foxy can't get the lemmings on the Cliff to read his book, too. They're too busy jumping off. After a chilly third rescue, exasperated Foxy and grumbly polar bear Captain PB realize their naughty nautical crew isn't being stubborn: The lemmings (Jumper, Me Too, and Ditto) can't read. And until Foxy patiently teaches his lemmings to read the book, he can't return to reading it, either!

Pony in the City book
#19
Pony in the City
Written and illustrated by Wendy Wahman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Otis wants to know about the kids who ride at his stables. Do they sleep in stalls? Do they also get brushed and braided? The older ponies ignore his questions, so Otis heads to the city to see for himself. And he finds answers, but he gets lost, too . . . until some of his favorite friends come to the rescue. Kids will relate to this sweet story about an adorable, inquisitive little pony.

I Am Bat book
#20
I Am Bat
Written and illustrated by Morag Hood
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

I am bat. I love cherries. They are juicy and red and delicious and... My cherries! Some of them are missing. Who took my cherries? Was it YOU? Join the grumpily adorable Bat as he searches for his missing cherries in this vibrant and hilarious picture book

CatStronauts: Space Station Situation book
#21
CatStronauts: Space Station Situation
Written by Drew Brockington
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

In the third book in the CatStronauts graphic novel series, your favorite elite team of cat astronauts is a member short--one of the team has quit! When chief science officer Pom Pom rejoins the CatStronauts on the International Space Station, she has to get to work right away--the Hubba Bubba Telescope isn't working, and CATSUP is losing funding by the day! But as the CatStronauts and Mission Control race to find answers, the unthinkable happens and pilot Waffles is forced to orbit the Earth in nothing but his space suit. Even though he's no scaredy cat, Waffles has a hard time staying out in space. When disaster on a global scale rears its head, will a fractured CatStronauts team be enough to save the day? In this full color graphic novel, debut author/illustrator Drew Brockington takes the CatStronauts to the brink, adding in mounds of jokes, charm, asteroid showers, and enough tuna for everyone!

Stink Moody in Master of Disaster book
#22
Stink Moody in Master of Disaster
Written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Erwin Madrid
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Stink takes a star turn—and helps stave off cosmic calamity—in a new Judy Moody & Friends adventure just right for newly independent readers. Look up! Look out! A comet is coming, a comet is coming! Stink is camped out in the backyard with his sister, Judy, and he can’t wait to lay eyes on P/2015 OZ4, also known as the Sherman-Holm Comet. But then news of an asteroid hitting Russia reaches Stink, and suddenly he’s feeling squeamish (and squash-ish) about close encounters of the outer-space kind. Will donning an aluminum-foil cape and building a bunker in the basement help keep him safe? Can this fearless Asteroid Boy save Earth from disaster?

You Are My Best Friend book
#23
You Are My Best Friend
Written and illustrated by Tatsuya Miyanishi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Once upon a time a violent, mean, selfish Tyrannosaurus roamed the land, and all the other animals feared him. One day, while chasing other animals, the Tyrannosaurus falls into the ocean. The Elasmosaurus, who lives in the sea, saves his life, and the Tyrannosaurus says "thank you" for the very first time. From that day, the land creature and the sea creature become best friends. The author, Tatsuya Miyanishi, delivers a heartwarming story about friendship with vivid, brightly colored illustrations and endearingly drawn characters.

Dinosaur Rescue! book
#24
Dinosaur Rescue!
Written and illustrated by Penny Dale
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

All of your favorite dinosaurs from Dinosaur Dig! and Dinosaur Zoom! are back, but this time they are busy saving the day! Children will be enthralled by the wonderful illustrations as the dinosaurs rescue one another. But don’t worry, there’s a happy ending for everyone!

The Clue in the Old Album book
#25
The Clue in the Old Album
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Nancy Drew witnesses a purse snatching and runs after the thief. She rescues the purse, but not its contents, then is asked by the owner, a doll collector, to do some detective work. Readers will enjoy Nancy’s clever ways of finding all she seeks, and bringing happiness to a misunderstood child and her lonely grandmother.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!