Vacation: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about vacation?

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

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.

When it comes to children’s stories about vacation, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Emily Windsnap and the Falls of Forgotten Island to popular sellers like Bob to some of our favorite hidden gems like Little Elliot, Fall Friends.

We hope this list of kids books about vacation can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Little Elliot, Fall Friends book
#1
Little Elliot, Fall Friends
Written and illustrated by Mike Curato
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s autumn in the Big City! Little Elliot and Mouse love the hustle and bustle of the city streets. But sometimes it feels like there are too many people, too many noises—just too much! The best friends decide to get out of town for a vacation in the countryside. There, they’ll discover the sights and smells of autumn in the country. Everything is more fun when shared with a friend!

Madeline in London book
#2
Madeline in London
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!

Pepito has moved to England. To help celebrate his birthday, Miss Clavel and the girls pay him a visit. When his mother won’t let Pepito keep one of his birthday presents–a horse–Madeline is more than willing to help out.

At the Boardwalk book
#3
At the Boardwalk
Written and illustrated by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

From sunrise to sunset, the attractions of a beach boardwalk include popcorn, taffy, arcade games, and a dazzling amusement park.

Imagination Vacation book
#4
Imagination Vacation
Written and illustrated by Jami Gigot
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Sam has a very busy family. Mom works late, Dad’s projects pile up. Even Sam’s younger sister Marla is always doing something. Everyone in Sam’s family has their own idea of what the perfect vacation would look like. But there’s one thing they all agree on: they just can’t get away right now. So Sam comes up with a different kind of getaway. With a little planning, a few supplies, and a touch of creativity, she finds that her family’s dream vacation wasn’t so far away after all.

Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa book
#5
Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

It’s an exciting day for Llama Llama; he’s going to visit Gram and Grandpa Llama and spend the night! His first night away from homea.and from Mama. But he makes sure to pack everything he needs. And there are so many fun things to do with Gram and Grandpa. It’s not until he gets ready for bed that he realizes that he’s forgotten something important. Fuzzy Llama! Fortunately, Grandpa Llama has a wonderful solution and soon Llama Llama is having sweet dreams.

  1. Spy School Goes South - Ben is taken to Mexico by his nemesis in the hopes that he’ll finally be able to take down SPYDER in this latest addition to the New York Times bestselling Spy School series. Thirteen-year-old Ben Ripley has been caught in the snares of SPYDER more than once and knows well enough to be suspicious of anything that seems too good to be true—despite needing special tutoring in advanced survival techniques. So when Murray Hill finally breaks his silence with an offer to hand over the SPYDER elite, Ben knows that there must be something going on. But his hesitation doesn’t stop the assignment. The Mission: Follow Murray Hill to an undisclosed location with no one else but Erica Hale to identify SPYDER leadership. Once found, contact the CIA to sweep in and finish the job. DO NOT CONTACT SPYDER DIRECTLY. However, as Ben suspected, nothing goes as planned, and what should be an easy mission quickly turns deadly. Now, Ben and Erica will have to face rogue agents, trained killers, and even very hungry crocodiles in a race against the clock to find out what SPYDER is up to this time—and thwart their evil plans.

  2. Postcards from Venice - Twelve-year-old Skyler is in for a summer of adventure in Venice, Italy, as she pursues a dream opportunity in this hilarious MIX novel that’s a companion to The BFF Bucket List.

  3. The Magical World of Strega Nona - Enter the marvelous, magical world of Strega Nona! This wonderful treasury features six favorite stories about Strega Nona and her sidekick, the bumbling Big Anthony—including the original Strega Nona, as well as Strega Nona Meets Her Match, Strega Nona: Her Story, Strega Nona Takes a Vacation, Strega Nona’s Harvest, and Strega Nona’s Gift. Tomie’s brand-new introductions to each story take readers behind the scenes to see how Strega Nona’s world has developed through the years. Also including an original lullaby—with sheet music and a CD—a map of Strega Nona’s town, and some fun recipes, this collection will give readers and music lovers much to savor. Strega Nona, Tomie dePaola’s beloved “grandmother witch,” has been enchanting readers since the publication of the Caldecott Honor Award–winning Strega Nona in 1975. Strega Nona’s gentle humor, irrepressible spirit, and matter-of-fact approach to life have won her legions of fans young and old, and the American Library Association called her “an enduring character who has charmed generations of children.”

  4. Motorcycle Road Trip! - Grab hold of this book that lets you steer a motorcycle on a fun road trip! Pack some snacks, fire up the engine, and put on your helmet. It’s time for a motorcycle road trip! The view of the city from here is fantastic! Turn right to merge onto the bridge. Get on your bike and strap on your helmet-it’s time to go on a road trip! Kids will love using the die-cut handles in this novelty board book to control the motorcycle and steer through a city, a forest, and so much more to get to the beach!

Tom Gates Is Absolutely Fantastic (at Some Things) book
#10
Tom Gates Is Absolutely Fantastic (at Some Things)
Written and illustrated by L. Pichon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Since Tom forgets everything, it’s not surprising that he forgot all about the trip he’s supposed to go on with class 5F. It’s good that his family helps keep him on track (even, once in a while, his grumpy sister, Delia)! Luckily, there are loads of excellent things to do on the trip, like making rafts, eating snacks, and seeing some very weird creatures. That is, as long as Tom doesn’t get stuck in a group with anyone who snores or worse (looking at you, Marcus Meldrew!).

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Tennessee book
#11
The Twelve Days of Christmas in Tennessee
Written by Alice Faye Duncan and illustrated by Mary Uhles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Volunteer state is GREAT! When Carly visits her cousin Teddy in Tennessee for Christmas, she discovers how amazing it is. She hikes the Great Smoky Mountains, dances to bluegrass music, tastes Nashville’s famous hot chicken, and meets more than one Elvis Presley. Every day, Teddy gives her a special Tennessee gift, from 12 rockers rocking and 11 eagles nesting to a mockingbird in a tulip poplar tree.

Captain Awesome Takes Flight book
#12
Captain Awesome Takes Flight
Written by Stan Kirby and illustrated by George O’Connor
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Captain Awesome battles an evil flight attendant who’s trying to stop him from going on vacation in the nineteenth adventure of the Sunnyview Superhero Squad!

When Eugene McGillicudy finds himself at the airport, things seem pretty normal at first—and pretty boring—until Eugene bumps into a flight attendant and has a sudden realization. That flight attendant isn’t just any flight attendant. She’s the evil Fun E. Racer, and she’s here to stop Captain Awesome from going on vacation!

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Captain Awesome chapter books are perfect for beginning readers!

Davy's Summer Vacation book
#13
Davy's Summer Vacation
Written by Brigitte Weninger and illustrated by Eve Tharlet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Davy hears about his friend Wendy Wildgoose’s wonderful vacation at the beach, he wants to go too. But he and his family can’t fly like geese and their wagon is too weak to carry their luggage, so the beach is out. But Davy takes the family on a wonderful trip that is just as fun!

Emily Windsnap and the Falls of Forgotten Island book
#14
Emily Windsnap and the Falls of Forgotten Island
Written by Liz Kessler and illustrated by Erin Farley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Emily is headed to a tropical island for a relaxing vacation with friends and family—no adventures, just plenty of fun. But excitement seems to follow Emily, and before she knows it, she ends up on the other side of a powerful waterfall on a forgotten island no one else can get to. The people who live there believe in a prophecy that foretells how to prevent an imminent, devastating earthquake, and this prophecy seems to revolve around Emily and her boyfriend, Aaron, as well as a mysterious, mythic giant. Will they be able to find the giant—and fulfill the prophecy—before it’s too late?

  1. Julius Zebra: Battle with the Britons! - Think you know Julius Zebra? Think again! The handsome, fast-talking gladiatorial champion is sent on a zany new adventure — to Britannia! Before Julius Zebra can have his freedom, Emperor Hadrian sends him on one last mission. As the newly named People’s Champion, Julius must travel with his friends to a distant land to remind its people of the might of the Roman Empire. It’ll be just like a vacation! But when the motley menagerie of gladiators arrives in cold, wet Britannia, they don’t quite receive the welcome they were expecting. In fact, the Britons seem to hate the Romans. And the longer Julius and his friends stay in Britannia, the more they realize that they have a lot more in common with the Britons than they thought. After all, they’re all under Hadrian’s rule. But what can a ragtag group of fighting animals do about it?

  2. Long Fin Silver - Harry Hammer looks for the lost treasure of Long Fin Silver, the greatest pirate of the deep seas, in this ninth Shark School (mis)adventure. Harry Hammer can’t believe his luck! He and his family are going on vacation to Treasure Reef, home of The Lost Treasure of that dastardly, long-ago pirate Long Fin Silver. Legend has it that Long Fin buried the Black Blood Pearl, the most valuable and beautiful gem in the history of the ocean. Harry and his pesky cousin Harvey are on the hunt for treasure, but they best beware of where they look, as they’re about to come fin-to-fin with the spooky spirit of Long Fin Silver himself!

  3. Road Trip with Max and His Mom - Third-grader Max is heading off on a road trip with Mom. With miles to travel, cousins to meet, and a tall roller coaster to ride (maybe), it will be an adventure! But Max always spends weekends with Dad; will Dad be okay if he’s left behind? And will Max be brave enough for all the new explorations ahead of him?

  4. Space Camp - Zack and his friends are off to space camp on a new planet in the fourteenth Galaxy Zack adventure. Camp Among the Stars! Summer vacation is finally here and Zack is pumped for space camp! He can’t wait to play galactic games, tell scary stories, and go on crazy camping adventures with new friends. But when there’s trouble between his cabin mates, it’s up to Zack to bring everyone together. Will he be able to find a solution before the entire summer is ruined? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Galaxy Zack chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

A Stone for Sascha book
#19
A Stone for Sascha
Written and illustrated by Aaron Becker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

A girl grieves the loss of her dog in an achingly beautiful wordless epic from the Caldecott Honor-winning creator of Journey. This year’s summer vacation will be very different for a young girl and her family without Sascha, the beloved family dog, along for the ride. But a wistful walk along the beach to gather cool, polished stones becomes a brilliant turning point in the girl’s grief. There, at the edge of a vast ocean beneath an infinite sky, she uncovers, alongside the reader, a profound and joyous truth. In his first picture book following the conclusion of his best-selling Journey trilogy, Aaron Becker achieves a tremendous feat, connecting the private, personal loss of one child to a cycle spanning millennia — and delivering a stunningly layered tale that demands to be pored over again and again.

Bob book
#20
Bob
Written by Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Visiting her grandmother in Australia, Livy, ten, is reminded of the promise she made five years before to Bob, a strange, green creature who cannot recall who or what he is.

Summer in the Land of Anne book
#21
Summer in the Land of Anne
Written by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly and illustrated by Carolyn M. Epperly
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A Prince Edward Island summer vacation inspires a young writer. Six-year-old Elspeth’s mother has a surprise in store for her daughters. She’s taking Elspeth and her eleven-year-old sister on a surprise vacation. When she starts reading Anne of Green Gables aloud to the girls, they catch on—they’re going to Prince Edward Island! Elspeth proudly dons her Anne hat on the ferry, ready to explore the Land of Anne. Although she knows she’s really visiting Lucy Maud Montgomery’s house, she feels like she recognizes everything from the books and is thoroughly enchanted. At first devastated that Montgomery’s first house was torn down by Montgomery’s uncle, Elspeth sees signs of life—chipmunks living in the old cellar. Elspeth’s imagination is ignited. No longer satisfied with pretending to be Anne, Elspeth is instead inspired to become more like Montgomery: famous writer Elspeth of Cavendish, writing about the world she loves. Summer in the Land of Anne is a celebration of the books we love and all the ways they inspire us.

Adèle & Simon in America book
#22
Adèle & Simon in America
Written and illustrated by Barbara McClintock
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Adáele and Simon visit their Aunt Câecile in New York City, she takes them on a train trip around the United States, but from Boston to San Francisco to Washington, D.C., Simon keeps losing his belongings, despite his sister’s reminders. Includes facts about the places they visit.

Beet Juice Buddies book
#23
Beet Juice Buddies
Written by Blake Hoena and illustrated by Dave Bardin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Mina the vampire and her family are on vacation in Transylvania, and Mina has two problems—she has to conceal the fact that she prefers beet juice to blood when she meets great-great-great grandpa Drac, and she needs to rescue a group of tourists who do not realize that they are on the dinner menu.

  1. Goldfish on Vacation - From a New York Times bestselling author and a rising-star illustrator comes a humorous tale based on an amazing-but-true story about the summer a city fountain was used as a goldfish pond. H, Little O, and Baby Em are stuck in the city for the summer with only their pet goldfish—Barracuda, Patch, and Fiss—for company. It’s looking like it might be a pretty boring vacation, but one day, something exciting happens. Someone starts fixing up the old fountain down the street—the one Grandpa says horses used to drink from before everyone had cars—and a sign appears: “Calling All Goldfish Looking for a Summer Home.” H, Little O, and Baby Em can’t wait to send their goldfish on vacation, and the fish, well, they seem pretty excited too. Based on the true story of Hamilton Fountain in New York City, this charming tale of one special summer will delight readers young and old. Author’s Note included.

  2. The Night Before Summer Vacation - A little girl and her family are getting ready to go on vacation . . . or at least they are trying to. In the effort to pack everything that will be needed, there’s bound to be something overlooked, and what that is provides a funny ending to this meter-perfect “twist” on Clement Moore’s classic.

  3. She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) - The year is 1966. The Vietnam War rages overseas, the Beatles have catapulted into stardom, and twelve-year-old Rhode Island native Trudy Mixer is not thrilled with life. Her best friend, Michelle, has decided to become a cheerleader, everyone at school is now calling her Gertrude (her hated real name), and the gem of her middle school career, the Beatles fan club, has dwindled down to only three other members–the least popular kids at school. And at home, her workaholic father has become even more distant. Determined to regain her social status and prove herself to her father, Trudy looks toward the biggest thing happening worldwide: the Beatles. She is set on seeing them in Boston during their final world tour–and meeting her beloved Paul McCartney. So on a hot August day, unknown to their families, Trudy and crew set off on their journey, each of them with soaring hopes for what lies ahead.

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

The Pennypackers Go on Vacation book
#28
The Pennypackers Go on Vacation
Written by Lisa Doan and illustrated by Marta Kissi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Charlie Pennypacker is finally going somewhere. Mrs. Pennypacker has wrestled money for a vacation from Mr. Pennypacker’s tightfisted grip and the family is on their way to a Disney cruise. An eleven- story luxury cruise liner sporting a 212-foot waterslide and an all-night buffet awaits.

So he thinks. It’s not long before Charlie discovers he will be cruising on a dilapidated fishing boat, the Disney characters are fake, there’s no waterslide, the food is only eggs, his enemy Gunter Hwang has been brought along for thirty dollars a day and the captain is on the run from sinister men in dark suits.

It’s a Caribbean game of cat and mouse involving wits, interrogations, a hidden room, emergency departures, races against time and clever deceptions. Charlie finds the sort of adventure he’d always dreamed of. And a whole lot of adventure he’d never dreamed of.

The Beach Trip book
#29
The Beach Trip
Written by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Kim Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

The Martinez family is headed for a weekend at the beach, along with their friends, but Sofia has packed so many games that she does not have room for clothes.

Fly High, Katie! book
#30
Fly High, Katie!
Written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tammy Lyon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Katie is flying to Florida to visit her grandmother, but she has never been on an airplane before.

Fergus Barnaby Goes on Vacation book
#31
Fergus Barnaby Goes on Vacation
Written and illustrated by David Barrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Family, friendship, sharing, vacations, and apartment living are just some of the things that are celebrated in this charming children’s book!

Fergus Barnaby is so excited! Mom, Dad, and Fergus are about to go away on vacation for a few days of fun in the sun. But first… Dad tells him to pack everything he needs, and now Fergus has a problem. Fred has his bucket and shovel, Emily Rose has his swimming goggles, and Teddy has his kite. Fergus lives on the first floor, but his friends—and the toys he let them borrow—are all upstairs. So many stairs, so little time! Will Fergus and Daddy remember to pack everything they need to bring? (Hint: this story ends with a surprise and a big laugh!) Lots of bold illustrations and an enchanting story about friendship and life in the city will make Fergus Barnaby one of your child’s favorites.

Cody and the Fountain of Happiness book
#32
Cody and the Fountain of Happiness
Written by Tricia Springstubb and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Middle-grade readers drawn to Judy Moody or Clementine will find a funny and charismatic companion in Cody, star of this delightful new series.

For whimsical Cody, many things are beautiful, especially ants who say hello by rubbing feelers. But nothing is as beautiful as the first day of summer vacation, and Cody doesn’t want to waste one minute of it. Meanwhile, teenage brother Wyatt is moping over a girl, Mom is stressed about her new job as Head of Shoes, Dad is off hauling chairs in his long-distance truck, and even camp has been closed for the summer. What to do? Just when all seems lost, Cody bumps into a neighborhood boy named Spencer who is looking for a runaway cat. With a new friend and a soon-to-be-found cat, Cody is on her way to the fountain of happiness.

  1. Tilly's Staycation - As all of her friends embark on exciting vacations, Tilly finds it hard to believe that she and her mother will have fun staying home.

  2. Mr. Men: Road Trip! - Hit the road with the Mr. Men Little Miss crew and get ready to laugh your way across the USA! The Mr. Men Little Miss crew is traveling across America on a road trip that has something for everyone, from Niagara Falls to the Grand Canyon to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. With visits to the biggest and most famous sights–like the Statue of Liberty, the Gateway Arch, and the Golden Gate Bridge–this team is sure to have an adventure anywhere they go!

  3. The Lost Stars - Everyone has become so focused on bright lights and new technology that they have forgotten about the stars. Fed up with not being appreciated, the stars decide to leave their posts and go on holiday. But what will happen when the lights go out? A charming picture book, from an emerging new talent, warning us to appreciate the natural beauty of the world, before it is lost.

  4. The Miniature World of Marvin & James - In this Masterpiece Adventure, the first in a companion series for younger readers from bestselling author Elise Broach, James is going on vacation for a week. His best friend, Marvin the beetle, has to stay at home. Without James to keep him company, Marvin has to play with his annoying cousin, Elaine. Marvin and Elaine quickly find themselves getting into all sorts of trouble—even getting trapped inside a pencil sharpener! Marvin misses James and starts to worry about their friendship. Will James still be Marvin’s friend when he gets home or will James have found a new best friend?

Maisy Goes on Vacation book
#37
Maisy Goes on Vacation
Written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Maisy’s packing her bags and setting off on a fun vacation in a story that’s perfect for young children making a trip away from home. (Age 3 and up) How exciting! Maisy has put her sun hat, pajamas, toothbrush, and camera into a bag, and she’s off to the train station with Panda and Cyril. They’re headed for the seashore, but getting there is only half the fun. Coloring and snacks help pass the time on the ride to the beach, where Maisy can’t wait to swim, collect seashells, build sandcastles, and lots more. At nighttime it feels special to go to bed in a hotel—knowing that tomorrow another vacation day awaits!

A Lullaby of Summer Things book
#38
A Lullaby of Summer Things
Written by Natalie Ziarnik and illustrated by Madeline Valentine
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This simple, lyrical picture book is as warm, reassuring, and filled with joy as a vacation at the beach. Readers will join a little girl and her siblings as they wind down from a perfect day—hanging up towels, eating dinner, and getting ready for bed—each activity sparking a memory of their day—playing catch with the dog, chasing waves, and looking at sailboats along the shore. And when the lights of the family beach house go off—“In the dusky evening light, a sleepy house says goodnight”—young listeners will be lulled to sleep themselves.

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