Books for Kids to Inspire Travel
Do your kids love to travel? I’ve selected 6 children’s books for a wide age range, from toddlers to tweens, to get kids excited for out-of-the-ordinary adventures, both near and far. Of course, travel can mean many things for young ones–whether it’s going to the grand-parents during the summer, going to a family wedding across the country or, even wilder, riding a plane to explore distant shores. Whatever travel means, it’s always a change of scenery and a journey. Each of these books tackles travel from a child perspective, with the aim to inspire. Have fun!
Written and illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld and Elise Broach
Infants and toddlers will love playing along with baby during a day at the beach with this interactive board book that features lift-the-flaps on each page. Perfect for the summer season, this book is all a fun day at the beach should be. Warm temperatures, blue sea, stripy balloon, sandcastles and sneaky crabs – is anything missing? Read it at home or pack it in your beach bag for the real deal with sand buckets.
Ages: 0 to 3 years
Lately Lily: The Adventures of a Travelling Girl
Illustrated by Micah Player
Where has Lily been lately? Lily is a girl who loves to discover new places and who can tell kids a lot on the essentials to travel the world. Camera? Check. Boarding pass? Check, too. Through an illustrated diary, Lily introduces little world travelers to the places she visits around the world. She rides boats, planes, trains, and even camels! Won’t that inspire adventurous young’uns?
Ages: 3 to 5 years
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
Written and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
It’s fine and dandy for humans to travel in the wild, but what’s a bear to do lost in a city and longing to return to his forest? Of course, the bear should never have hopped on a truck full of berries but when bears are hungry, there’s no stopping them. Also, the bear may well be the reason a little girl’s sandwich disappeared on a park bench. Who knows? Kids will love this mischievous bear and adults will appreciate that the city looks strangely like San Francisco. More than anything, don’t jump to conclusions too fast if your sandwich ever goes missing when traveling!
Ages: 3 to 6 years
Arrow to Alaska: A Pacific Northwest Adventure
Written and illustrated by Hannah Viano
Six-year-old Arrow lives in Seattle and dreams of seagoing adventures. One day, he receives a yellow letter with scraggly handwriting inviting him to visit his grand-father in Alaska. Alaska! Told in prose in long sentences, this book will delight kids who love the outdoors and a bigger-than-life summer adventure. Add to that beautiful woodcut-like illustrations and a recipe for “Cast-Iron Skillet Brownies” (like those served on the salmon boat) at the end of the book, and you have an invitation to explore the great Pacific Northwest.
Ages: 5 to 8 years
Angry Birds Explore the World (National Geographic Kids)
By National Geographic Kids
When Angry Birds set to explore the world, kids can be sure that they’re in for a fun ride. Instead of the old dusty world atlases, this book offers over 100 pages of fun facts, games and maps on each of the continents. This being National Geographic Kids, each chapter highlights local facts on animals and must-see places. If you’re using this book to plan your future travels, get ready for a very long bucket list!
Ages: 5 to 9 years
The Copernicus Legacy: The Forbidden Stone
Written by Tony Abbott, illustrated by Bill Perkins
As lovers of the genre know well, mystery novels are the perfect books to travel the world. In this middle-grade series, a teenager and his family receive a message in code that tells him to find twelve relics, the last relic being them. Juggling puzzles and riddles, Wade and his family go on a wild chase around the globe to locate hidden parts of a time-traveling astrolabe built in the 16th century by Copernicus. Of course, you too can fly to all the places described in the book, that would be a grand trip. However, don’t expect the time-travel part! Great series for middle-schoolers.
Ages: 8 to 12 years
The Crown of Ptolemy (Heroes of Olympus, The) (Kindle)
Written by Rick Riordan
Made famous with his Percy Jackson books, author Rick Riordan combines Egyptian and Greek magic through the Ptolemy connection. In fact, The Crown of Ptolemy combines Percy Jackson and the Kane Chronicles, with an action-packed novella that unravels between Long Island and Governor’s Island in New York State. Spunky, funny and quick-paced, this book is the third of a new series and your tweens will likely beg you to get the two other ones too. Armchair traveling Percy Jackson-style – what’s not to love?
Ages: 9 to 12 years
This monthly feature is also published in the Golden Gate Mothers Group Magazine in San Francisco, June 2015 issue, as the Books for Kids column. I’ve been writing this column since 2005 and love discovering new books for all ages.