As much as you’d like to take your children or grandchildren off with you to all corners of the globe, making that dream into a reality isn’t always possible. So how do you teach your children about some of the more far-flung destinations and broaden their understanding of different cultures? One of our favorite ways is through books. To jump-start a library, we’ve curated a list of children’s travel books to inspire your aspiring globetrotter.
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The National Parks of the USA by Kate Siber
The National Parks of the USA is a beautifully illustrated book about America’s great outdoors and 21 of her most iconic national parks. Among the gorgeous illustrations, there are maps and facts about the flora and fauna. It’s a book that will be loved by children and adults alike.
Our Great Big Backyard by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager
Discover some of America’s beloved national parks and greatest treasures with Jane and her family on their summer road trip.
Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
A lifetime of wisdom for children of all ages imparted in the humorous text and quirky illustrations from Dr. Seuss.
If You Lived Here: Houses of the World by Giles Laroche
A fascinating book exploring 15 different types of houses around the world and what it is like to live there; from decorated houses of Ndebele in South Africa to the cave dwellings of Gaudix in Spain and everything in between.
A Year Full of Stories: 52 Classic Stories From All Around the World by Angela McAllister
A treasury of 52 myths, fairy tales, and legends from around the world, separated into 12 chapters for each month of the year. Throughout, the beautifully illustrated short stories are matched to internationally celebrated dates (like International Day of Friendship, World Water Day, International Day of Peace, and more) and seasonal events (Harvest, Autumn, Wintertime). The stories are short enough to hold the attention of the youngest listeners and engaging to entertain older children.
A World Full of Animal Stories: 50 Favorite Animal Folk Tales, Myths, and Legends by Angela McAllister
Similar to A Year Full of Stories, A World Full of Animal Stories explores 50 captivating folktales and legends centering around animals from across the globe. Find stories like “How the Jellyfish Lost His Bones” from Japan; “Why the Swallow’s Tail is Forked,” a Native American Indian story; and “The Legend of the Panda,” a story from Tibet. Grouped by continent, the stories include light morals and simple explanations for animal characteristics and behaviors.
Spin the Globe Series by Edward Moldenhauer
The stories that make up the adventures in the Spin the Globe series are based on bedtime stories the author told his son and daughter each night. The first in the series sees Frederick von Wigglebottom travel to Alice Springs and Uluru in Australia.
Follow in the footsteps of seven children from around the world as they go about their daily lives. The book provides a window into the traditions of families from Italy, Japan, Iran, Peru, Uganda, and Russia as it follows the children while they go to school, play games, and sit down for dinner. The book is perfect to teach young children about similarities and differences as they explore new cultures and customs around the world.
This is How I Do It: One Day in the Life of You and 59 Real Kids from Around the World by Matt Lamothe
A follow up to Matt Lamothe’s book This is How We Do It, this activity book gives children a chance to document their own life and daily rituals alongside 59 real kids from across the globe. The book includes sticker sheets, punch-out postcards, and a fold-out map to get your child, writing, drawing, and creating while learning about other cultures.
Atlas of Adventures: A Collection of Natural Wonders, Exciting Experiences, and Fun Festivities from the Four Corners of the Globe by Rachel Williams
A book that celebrates the diversity of our planet and the animals, people, and unique sights that make it that way. The large-format book reads almost like a checklist of adventures around the world for kids: go to sleep under the Northern Lights in Finland, blow the bagpipes at the Highland Games in Scotland, meet millions of monarch butterflies in Mexico, go on a canoe safari down the Zambezi River, and do the Haka during Waitangi in New Zealand. Each page is also full of facts about the particular destination.
Atlas of Animal Adventures: A Collection of Nature’s Most Unmissable Events, Epic Migrations, and Extraordinary Behaviors by Rachel Williams and Emily Hawkins
A journey through 31 of nature’s most unmissable animal events from the team who wrote Atlas of Adventures, this book celebrates the amazing animals of the earth.
An introduction into far-flung destinations from award-winning writer and illustrator Marc Martin, Everything and Everywhere explores the features that make a destination unique and give it character. Each page is covered in drawings and interesting facts about 15 locations around the world. Locations included are Antarctica, Alice Springs, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Ulaahbaatar, New Delhi, Moscow, Cairo, Paris, Reykjavik, New York City, Galapagos Islands, Amazon rain forest, Rio de Janeiro, and Cape Town.
There was a Wee Lassie who Swallowed a Midgie by Rebecca Colby and Kate McLelland
Meet some of Scotland’s famous creatures including a puffin, Nessie, and the dreaded midgie in this Scottish twist on the much-loved nursery rhyme.
Hello World Board Book Series by Ashley Evanson
A travel book series for the youngest world travelers that pairs early learning concepts with iconic art, architecture, food, and culture in cities around the world. Discover the shapes that make up Paris, the colors of New York, and the sounds of Rio de Janeiro.
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Considered a classic in children’s literature, Madeline is the first in a series of 11 books that follow the adventurous 12-year-old Madeline through Paris. In other books of the series, her adventures take her to London and America.
The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé
Follow globetrotting reporter Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy as they embark on adventures all over the world to investigate mysteries. Created by Belgian cartoonist Hergé, the widely popular series has been published in over 70 languages and has been adapted for radio, television, and film.
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
In the first book of the Paddington series, follow the marmalade-loving bear on adventures all over London – from the Underground to Paddington Station.
We’ve also curated a list of our favorite travel books for adults too. You can see that list here.