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Vacation: Picture Books For Kids

This list of the best picture books about vacation is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa to A Lullaby of Summer Things there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about vacation? Let us know!

Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa book
#1
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.

Imagination Vacation book
#2
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.

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.

Madeline in London book
#4
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.

The Magical World of Strega Nona book
#5
The Magical World of Strega Nona
Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.”

  1. Little Elliot, Fall Friends - 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!

  2. Tom Gates Is Absolutely Fantastic (at Some Things) - 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!).

  3. The Twelve Days of Christmas in Tennessee - 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.

  4. Davy's Summer Vacation - 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!

A Stone for Sascha book
#10
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.

Adèle & Simon in America book
#11
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.

Goldfish on Vacation book
#12
Goldfish on Vacation
Written by Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by Leo Espinosa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

The Night Before Summer Vacation book
#13
The Night Before Summer Vacation
Written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Julie Durrell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Lady Liberty's Holiday book
#14
Lady Liberty's Holiday
Written by Jen Arena and illustrated by Matt Hunt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-7

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

  1. The Beach Trip - 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.

  2. Fergus Barnaby Goes on Vacation - 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

The Lost Stars book
#19
The Lost Stars
Written and illustrated by Hannah Cumming
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

The Miniature World of Marvin & James book
#20
The Miniature World of Marvin & James
Written by Elise Broach and illustrated by Kelly Murphy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

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
#21
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
#22
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!