The Tiny Traveling Bookworm

This traveling bookworm post is a little different than you’re used to, because it is not linked to a city/country, but an age group. Normally, whenever I’m planning a trip I look for authors from the area I’m visiting, but today’s post will cover children books about traveling. Earlier I wrote Books for the stuck-at-home traveler, books that are about traveling in general and now I want to do the same thing with children’s books, because there are so many gorgeous books written for children that I want to share with you.

Picture books

  • What child doesn’t love hidden treasure books like Where’s Wally? Hidden adventures by Lara Hawthorne will take them on a quest around the world. Included is a magic lens, with which they have to look for hidden gems, animals and objects, such as diamant rings and the declaration of independence in Istanbul, fruit and sandals in Tutankhamun’s tomb and paintings and mountains in Antartica. Fun and informative, as the reader will learn a little bit about the places they ‘visit’.
  • Another search-and-find book is Elephants on Tour by Cornet Guillaume. Five elephants are traveling the world: a foodie, an explorer, an artist, a photographer and an athlete are visiting London, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and many other cities. Can you find them?
  • The Yellow Balloon is a classic Dutch children’s book by Charlotte Dematons where a small yellow balloon travels over the world and through time. It’s a picture book without words, but with beautiful images and some recurring figures that give it a fun twist.
  • A book that I absolutely adore is Letters from Felix by Annette Langen. When Sophie loses her toybunny at the airport, she is very sad. But then she starts getting letters. Her bunny Felix is traveling all over the world and sends her postcards and letters from Kenya, New York, Rome… The book includes the letters and contain a lot of elements which makes the book fun and interactive.
  • I absolutely loved The snail and the whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Both big names in the children’s books sector, they made a beautiful book about a snail who has a severe case of wanderlust and travels with a whale around the world. A beautiful book about traveling and unlikely friendships!
  • Journey by Aaron Becker is a wordless picture book about a bored small child with a magic red marker. Remember Harold and the purple crayon? This is like that, but the girl draws doors and boats to explore the world.

Non-Fiction

  • Maps by Aleksandra & Daniel Mizielinska is a beautifully illustrated atlas with 52 maps from all over the world, showing not only countries and their borders, but everything that make the places unique, such as landmarks, iconic personae and flora and fauna. Perfect for little explorers!
  • Another book that’s great for kids, is The atlas of adventures by Lucy Letherland. It’s a gorgeous, big book that focuses on the wonders of the world, celebrations and experiences, such as seeing the northern lights, the carnival in Rio and the art in the Louvre.
  • See the world from a bird’s point of view in The Natural World by Jorhn Farndon, illustrated by Paul Boston. With fold-out pages, you see the world from above, learning more about animals and nature.
  • I absolutely love Lonely Planet. Did you know they have an entire children’s section? Fun city guides for, for example, London or New York, but also big informative books about traveling itself, about the world, transportation, mountain or safari explorers… You name it, and Lonely Planet probably has it. I really love all of these books, as they are informative in a bright and colorful way, with little drawings here and there, and fun facts.
  • Around the world in 80 ways focuses on the journey rather than the destination, and more specific: ways to travel. Riding a camel or a donkey, going on a yacht or a cruise, surfing or traveling through space!

Middle grade

It’s actually harder than I thought to find amazing middle grade fiction books about travel. Most of them are about fictional landscapes instead of places we could actually travel to. Nevertheless, the books mentioned below will satisfy your/your children’s wanderlust!

  • I absolutely LOVED The Strangeworlds travelagency by L.D. Lapinsky. Main character Flick moves to a new home. She is bored in a new city where she doesn’t know anyone. Her scratchmap of the world isn’t much help, because there’s only one country she could scratch open: her own. She hasn’t traveled yet, though she longs for it badly. Then, when wandering the town, she comes across this travel agency where she discovers that she has magic, and that she will be able to travel to other worlds by the many, many suitcases stacked from floor to ceiling in the travel agency. The book is fun, exciting and magical and is a must-read for all wanderlusters.
  • Another great series for young explorers is Explorer academy. It’s about a twelve year old boy who gets admitted to a school where he will be educated to be an explorer. He’ll learn about archeology, science and photograpy to become one of the world’s biggest environmental conservationists. It’s an exciting story filled with code, mystery and adventures. The story is written by Trudi Trueit for National Geographic and it’s inspired by a lot of research that National Geographic has conducted, which makes it fun and educative. But most of all it’s just a really thrilling story.
  • Last but not least, the Scavenger hunt adventure series by Catherine Aragón. Each book focuses on a specific city (Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Washington D.C., London or New York) and will keep the children busy exploring the cities. The book allows children to go sightseeing in a fun scavenger hunt. I haven’t read the books yet, but I’ve read good things about them and I for one can’t wait to do a scavenger hunt like this in one of these cities!



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