Books with a travel theme are a great way to open your children’s minds to new adventures and excitement about the world around us. They give us the opportunity to show our children about the people, places and events that are currently outside of their own experience.
So grab your soon-to-be adventurers and read one or more of these books together. Teach them about our wonderful world one story at a time!
Babies – 4 Years
Good night world is a cute bedtime story that introduces many of our planet’s fantastic places in a trip across the globe. It’s ideal for parents who want to share a love of nature with their children.
This is part of the bestselling Good Night Our World series that cover hundreds of iconic locations and themes.
Penguin’s Big Adventure is an adorable board book about trying new things. Penguin sets out on an adventure to become the first penguin to explore the North Pole. When he reaches his destination, he feels alone and afraid in a foreign place.
Making new friends and overcoming his fears, he shows our young listeners that taking a chance can be a great thing. This book is ideal for parents who want to gently encourage their children to try new things. It’s such a great message for younger kids!
Penguin’s Big Adventure is part of a whole series of books featuring Penguin.
This colorful book is designed to appeal to the youngest traveler in your family. With bright, bold illustrations and minimal text, the Tokyo book in the Hello World Series focuses on things little ones will ‘sense’ in Tokyo.
Smell the cherry blossoms and touch the snow as it falls quietly on Mt. Fuji. Even though I’m decades past it’s intended audience, I loved looking at the charming illustrations!
Ages 4 – 7 Years
The Snail and the Whale is one of my all-time favorite children’s picture books about a tiny snail who longs to see the world. He hitches a ride on the tail of a humpback whale, becoming unlikely friends and traveling to far-off lands where they see amazing things. The Whale ends up beached in a bay and it’s up to the tiny snail to save his friend.
In fact, this is such a great children’s story that an animated version is being released Christmas Day, 2019 on BBC1. We can’t wait!
My family first discovered Mouk as an animated series that follows the adventures of two friends, Mouk and Chavapa, as they travel around the world on their bikes. They make new friends, discover different countries and landscapes, and learn about different customs.
This book is awesome as it has reusable stickers, turning it into an activity book which can be used to occupy the kids on a long journey. Each page features a different destination and a letter written from Mouk to his friends with educational information about that country.
This is a beautifully illustrated book that introduces the concepts of time zones. Young readers will discover Keita helping his father count the fish caught during the night in Senegal while at the same moment, Ivan takes his dog for a walk in Russia. The book takes readers eastward from the Greenwich meridian, from day-to-night, meeting new characters in different time zones.
It’s important not to get caught up in the fine details as it’s designed to be an introduction to time zones for children. For e.g. the illustrations show Kate in Australia driving between Uluru and Sydney, both icons visible in the illustration. In reality, it takes over 30 hours to drive between the two with a distance of over 1,700 miles (2,800 km).
I just love this book! Felix is a cute stuffed rabbit who gets lost at the airport when returning from a family vacation. Sophie, his owner, is upset at the loss of her favorite toy but soon starts receiving letters from Felix from abroad.
Sophie receives five letters, which readers can remove from envelopes within the books pages and read. He shares his adventures with Sophie, sending letters from London, Paris, Rome, Kenya, Cairo and New York City.
The letters are fun for children to open up and it’s a great way to begin learning about geography.
Ages 8 – 12 Years
The world was first introduced to Flat Stanley in 1964, and now over 50 years later, Flat Stanley can be used to introduce your child to the world.
In the original book by Jeff Brown, Stanley Lambchop gets squashed flat by a falling bulletin board. This turns out to be not so bad, as now Stanley can easily travel around the world by being posted in an envelope!
There is a whole series of Worldwide Adventures and more, but this one is great because Stanley visits Africa and finds himself on a safari adventure with his family.
Kids can jump online, print out a ‘Flat Stanley’ and take snaps of him on your own adventures. You can also encourage your school to get involved or sign up as a home-schooler with the Flat Stanley Project, the longest-lasting literacy project on the web.
This one is ideal for animal loving kids! My little boy, who is seven, loves this book and although he is not a strong enough reader to manage it on his own, enjoys looking at the pictures and having someone help him read the facts.
The book features maps that unfold, showing animals from North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia and Oceania & Antarctica.
Animal Atlas is chock full of animal facts and features a range of creatures from the tiniest of insects to gigantic blue whales.
This book is a little advanced for my younger kids, but I personally enjoyed the wonders that it features and can’t wait until they are a little older.
It’s suited to kids that are already naturally curious, giving them plenty of bucket list ideas to share with their parents
Hidden Wonders features the planet’s wildest and most wonderful sights, such as the glowworm caves in New Zealand or Vanuatu’s underwater post office.
About the Author: Jessica is a freelance travel writer and photographer with a slightly odd obsession with children’s picture books. She travels regularly with her family and is the founder of www.familyholidaydestinations.com, a website dedicated to providing destination information and inspiration for family travel. Jessica believes it’s important for kids to experience the wonder and beauty of nature and other cultures, otherwise, how will they ever feel the urge to protect it?