As a lifelong avid reader, I have always believed that books are a great way to inspire travel and curiosity about the world – especially for kids. We have selected this list of more than 50 of the best fiction and non-fiction books to inspire a love of travel and adventure in kids of all ages and teach them about the world. We have included travel-themed books for toddlers, kids and teens as well as reference books, travel guides and activity books that are great gift choices at Christmas or any time of the year.
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Board Books for Babies and Toddlers
1. Hello World series by Ashley Evanson – This delightful series of board books for babies and toddlers pairs early learning concepts with illustrations from cities around the world. The 9 book series includes: Paris: A Book of Shapes; New York: A Book of Colours; San Francisco: A Book of Numbers; London: A Book of Opposites; Tokyo: A Book of Senses; Rio de Janeiro: A Book of Sounds; Los Angeles: A Book of Time; Rome: A Book of Days; and Germany: A Book of Opposites.Purchase books in this series by Ashley Evanson at chapters.indigo.ca
2. My Little Cities series by Jennifer Adams – Another sweet series of board books showcasing cities such as London, Paris, New York and San Francisco with baby-appropriate text and charming illustrations.Purchase Little Cities Paris and more at chapters.indigo.ca
Picture Books for Children
3. This Is series by Miroslav Sasek – Czech artist and illustrator, Miroslav Sasek, published the first picture book in his delightful This Is series in 1958. Many have been reissued in recent years and a new generation of children and parents can now enjoy the series of books about many of the world’s great cities and countries. Our favourites include This is London, This is Paris and This is New York.Buying books by Miroslav Sasek at chapters.indigo.ca
4. Katie in London by James Mayhew – This delightful picture book was a favourite of both of my daughters when they were young. Katie and her brother visit London with their Grandma and are taken on a wonderful sightseeing tour around the city by a talking lion that they meet in Trafalgar Square.
Read our guide on London with KidsBuy Katie in London at chapters.indigo.ca
5. KeeKee’s Big Adventures series by Shannon Jones – A wonderful picture book series about an adventurous calico cat named KeeKee who travels the world in a hot-air balloon. Thus far, KeeKee’s adventures have taken her to London, Amsterdam, Athens, Paris, and Rome.Buy KeeKee’s Big Adventures books at chapters.indigo.ca
6. Molly and the Magic Suitcase series by Chris Oler – Molly and her brother Michael are curious about the world. Inspired by food, family, and friends, they trek to faraway places using a magic suitcase. Over the course of their adventures, they learn about language, culture, cuisine, and make new friends. Molly’s magic suitcase has taken her around the world to Barcelona, Rome, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Copenhagen, Peru, Thailand, Shanghai, and Puerto Rico.
7. Eloise in Paris by Kay Thompson – Children will love discovering Paris along with Eloise, resident of The Plaza Hotel in New York City, as she visits familiar Parisian sights from the Arc de Triomphe to the Seine to the Champs Élysées to outdoor cafés.
Read our guide on Paris with KidsBuy Eloise in Paris at chapters.indigo.ca
8. Adventures of Bella & Harry series by Lisa Manzione – The Adventures of Bella & Harry is a picture book series that chronicles the escapades of a pup named Bella, her little brother Harry and their family, who travel the world exploring the sights and sounds of new, exciting cities including London, Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Florence, Dublin and more!Buy Adventures of Bella & Harry at chapters.indigo.ca
9. A Ticket Around the World by Natalia Diaz and Melissa Owens – A picture book about a young boy who hops around the globe, visiting friends in thirteen different countries spanning all six populated continents. This informational picture book brings engaging nonfiction content to younger readers by showing them how other children live around the world.Buy A Ticket Around the World at chapters.indigo.ca
10. The Kids Who Travel the World series by Lisa Webb – A picture book series about two adventurous sisters as they travel the world and learn new things visiting destinations such as Paris, Rome, London and more.
11. A Race Around the World by Caroline Starr Rose – A picture book telling the true story of Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland, reporters for two New York newspapers, who competed against each other in 1889 in a race to circumnavigate the globe in record time.Buy A Race Around the World at chapters.indigo.ca
12. Let’s Explore with Cor Cor by Cory Lee and Sandy Gilbreath – Cory Lee (founder of the award-winning accessible travel blog Curb Free with Cory Lee) collaborated with his mom, co-author Sandy Gilbreath, to create this picture book to show that the possibilities for all children are limitless, regardless of their abilities.
Cor Cor’s readers learn about places around the world, as he explores exciting destinations from his wheelchair. Whether admiring the northern lights in Iceland or meeting kangaroos in Australia, no adventure is off-limits.
Early Readers and Chapter Books
13. The Berenstain Bears Around the World by Mike Berenstain – From the plains of Africa to the Great Wall of China, there are more sights to see than points on a map! Beginning readers will love discovering fantastic new places alongside their favorite family of bears, complete with vivid and classic illustrations.Buy the Berenstain Bears Around the World at chapters.indigo.ca
14. Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne – When Jack and Annie discover a mysterious tree house filled with books, they never dream that it will take them on exciting adventures around the world and throughout history! Jack and Annie have traveled to so many amazing places that it is easy to spark the interest of young readers with their adventures in this award-winning series.
The original series of chapter books for early readers has 28 titles and the follow-up more challenging Merlin Missions series has 27. There are also companion non-fiction Fact Tracker books providing facts behind the fiction with Jack and Annie.Buy Magic Tree House books at chapters.indigo.ca
15. Thea Stilton series – Kids that like graphic novels and comic books will enjoy the Thea Stilton series. Thea is the younger sister of the title character in the best-selling Geronimo Stilton series of books for kids ages 6-12. Thea’s adventures take her round-the-world to places such as New York City, Paris, Japan, Alaska, Scotland, and the Netherlands just to name a few.Buy Thea Stilton books at chapters.indigo.ca
16. Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan – A series of books about Percy Jackson, a troubled boy who discovers he is the son of Poseidon, and his adventures with demigods, monsters, and Greek gods.
We read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief prior to our Mediterranean cruise to Italy, Greece and Turkey. Reading the novel made sightseeing much more interesting for my younger daughter who was 8 years old at the time and sparked a years-long interest in Greek and Roman mythology.Buy Percy Jackson and the Olympians at chapters.indigo.ca
17. The 39 Clues series – The 39 Clues is a series of adventure books written by a collaboration of authors about orphaned siblings Amy and Dan Cahill who discover upon the death of their grandmother that they are part of a family that has shaped world history. Their quest to find the clues that will lead to the source of the family’s power takes them on a round-the-world treasure hunt.Buy 39 Clues books at chapters.indigo.ca
18. Agatha: Girl of Mystery series by Steve Stevenson – Girls between the ages of 7-10 will love the Agatha: Girl of Mystery series written by Steve Stevenson about a young detective who jets around the world to solve mysteries in places such as Egypt, India, Scotland, Niagara Falls, Scotland, Paris and Venice.Buy Agatha: Girl of Mystery books at chapters.indigo.ca
19. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg – In this winner of the Newbery Medal, suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and elegant – the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.Buy From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler at chapters.indigo.ca
20. The Long Haul (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) by Jeff Kinney – A family road trip is supposed to be a lot of fun . . . unless, of course, you’re the Heffleys. The journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. But even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure – and this is one the Heffleys won’t soon forget.Buy The Long Haul (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) at chapters.indigo.ca
21. Heidi by Johanna Spyri – The classic story of a little orphan girl growing up with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps.
22. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery – This timeless Canadian classic by Lucy Maud Montgomery, written in 1908, remains one of Canada’s best-known books more than 100 years later. I first read Anne of Green Gables when I was 11 or 12 years old and dreamed of someday visiting the land where the spunky redheaded orphan’s adventures took place. When I finally visited, “Anne’s Land” lived up to all of my expectations and we returned again and again! I guarantee that it’s impossible to read this novel and not want to plan a visit to Prince Edward Island!Buy Anne of Green Gables at chapters.indigo.ca
23. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren – This popular classic by Swedish author, Astrid Lindgren, is another that I loved as a child and introduced to both of my daughters. We read it before visiting Junibacken in Stockholm, the Astrid Lindgren museum where we were able to play at Pippi’s house Villa Villekulla.Buy Pippi Longstocking at chapters.indigo.ca
24. Mira’s Diary: Lost in Paris by Marissa Moss – When my daughter was a tween she loved the Mira’s Diary series. In the first book, Mira receives a cryptic post card from her missing mother and heads to Paris to try and find her. Mira discovers that she is looking in the wrong century and travels back through time to change history and try to bring her mother home. In subsequent books Mira searches for her time-travelling mother in ancient Rome, London during World War I and San Francisco.Buy Mira’s Diary: Lost in Paris at chapters.indigo.ca
25. American Girl books for kids – We loved the American Girl series of books when both of my daughters were younger. The historical series of books transports kids to numerous different times and places in American history and the contemporary books are stories about girls living today across the United States. American Girl has such an extensive and growing collection of books that you will have no difficulty finding the perfect book for the young girl in your life.Buy American Girl Doll books at chapters.indigo.ca
26. A Smart Girl’s Guide: Travel – American Girl’s popular series of advice and activity books for girls also has a volume focused on travel to show girls how to be confident and happy travellers. Filled with fun quizzes, smart safety tips, and cool trivia, this book will help girls get ready for a lifetime of adventure!Buy A Smart Girl’s Guide: Travel at chapters.indigo.ca
Young Adult Books for Teens
27. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch – 16 year-old Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy and a summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany following in her mother’s footsteps.
Welch followed up the bestselling Love & Gelato with Love & Luck about a road trip through Ireland filled with love, adventure, and the true meaning behind the word family and Love & Olives about a teen girl finding romance while trying to connect with her absent father in beautiful Santorini, Greece.Buy Love & Gelato at chapters.indigo.ca
28. Wanderlost by Jen Malone – In this romantic YA novel, Aubree is talked into taking over her older sister’s summer job leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe. Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.Buy Wanderlost at chapters.indigo.ca
29. Mosquitoland by David Arnold – After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.
Buy Mosquitoland at chapters.indigo.ca
So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.
30. The Fountains of Silence by Ruth Sepetys – Bestselling author, Ruth Sepetys, writes compelling historical fiction with teenagers as the main characters. This one is set in Madrid, Spain in 1957 under the fascist dictatorship of General Franco. Eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an American oil tycoon, arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography – and fate – introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil WarBuy The Fountains of Silence at chapters.indigo.ca
31. Salty, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas – Aspiring chef Isa’s family life has fallen apart after the death of her Cuban abuela and the divorce of her parents. And after moving in with her dad and her new stepmom in Lyon, France, Isa feels like an outsider in her father’s new life.
Her father’s house is located only 30 minutes away from the restaurant of world-famous Chef Pascal Grattard, who runs a prestigiously competitive international kitchen apprenticeship. The prize job at Chef Grattard’s renowned restaurant also represents a transformative opportunity for Isa who is desperate to get her life back in order – and desperate to prove she has what it takes to work in an haute kitchen.Buy Salty, Bitter, Sweet at chapters.indigo.ca
32. Out of the Easy by Ruth Sepetys – Another historical novel by Sepetys – this one about a teenage girl living in New Orleans. It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.Buy Out of the Easy at chapters.indigo.ca
33. My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong – Crazy Rich Asians meets Love & Gelato in this hilarious, quirky novel about a Chinese-American teen who is thrust into the decadent world of Beijing high society when she is sent away to spend the summer in China.Buy My Summer of Love and Misfortune at chapters.indigo.ca
34. Diary of a Tokyo Teen by Christine Mari Inzer – Born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and an American father in 1997, Christine Mari Inzer spent her early years in Japan and relocated to the United States in 2003. The summer before she turned sixteen, she returned to Tokyo, making a solo journey to get reacquainted with her birthplace. Through illustrations, photos, and musings, Inzer documented her journey.Buy Diary of a Tokyo Teen at chapters.indigo.ca
35. Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika and Maritza Moulite – Although this is a YA novel, I have read it and loved the main character, Alaine, the daughter of Haitian immigrants and a sassy, ambitious, intelligent teen. On an extended visit to Haiti, Alaine learns about the culture and history of her parent’s homeland while also working on her relationship with her mother who hasn’t always been present for her. The novel introduces the reader to a Haiti that is beautiful and proud in contrast to how we often see the country portrayed in the news media.Buy Dear Haiti, Love Alaine at chapters.indigo.ca
36. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – A teen romance about a girl from Atlanta whose father sends her to boarding school in France for her senior year. Anna is less than thrilled until she meets Étienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem? He’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her crush back home.Buy Anna and the French Kiss at chapters.indigo.ca
37. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill – A girl with it all planned out discovers a romance she never expected on a class trip to London. Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number and Jason, her personal nemesis, promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.Buy Meant To Be at chapters.indigo.ca
38. The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse – American expat Aubrey has only two weeks left in Europe before she leaves for college, and she’s nowhere near ready. Good thing she and her best friend, Rae, have planned one last group trip across the continent. From Paris to Prague, they’re going to explore famous museums, sip champagne in fancy restaurants, and eat as many croissants as possible with their friends Clara, Jonah, and Gabe.Buy The Summer of Us at chapters.indigo.ca
Reference Books and Travel Guides
39. Everything & Everywhere: A Fact-Filled Adventure for Curious Globe-trotters by Marc Martin – A beautifully illustrated, fact-filled adventure book that will take curious kids on a lush and unexpected journey around the globe to discover what makes each place unique. Features facts about 15 places and cultures for a great introduction to the world.Buy Everything & Everywhere at chapters.indigo.ca
40. The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan – Discover more than 2,000 facts that celebrate the people, cities, nature, and historic events that have helped make America what it is today with these 51 charmingly illustrated infographic maps that explore every state of the USA and the nation’s capital. Includes an expansive guide to the state flags and US presidents.Buy The 50 States at chapters.indigo.ca
41. National Geographic Student World Atlas 5th Edition – From the cartographic experts at National Geographic comes the latest edition of its award-winning student atlas, with everything kids want and need to know about our changing world.
Dynamic, user-friendly content includes photos, facts, charts, graphics, and full-color political, physical, and thematic maps on important topics. Completely updated maps and statistics ensure that kids have all the latest information as they learn more about current events and become global citizens.Buy National Geographic Student World Atlas at chapters.indigo.ca
42. National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas 2nd Edition by Crispin Boyer – Road trips will be even more fun for the kids with colorful maps, 22 new games, fun facts, photos, and activities that fill the updated and expanded National Geographic Kids Ultimate US Road Trip Atlas.Buy National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas at chapters.indigo.ca
43. Lonely Planet Lift-the-Flap Atlas – This interactive atlas treats young readers to a hands-on journey around the world. Each page turn brings the continent to life with flaps to lift, detailed illustrations and facts about, people, animals, and fun places to visit.Buy Lonely Planet Kids Lift-the-Flap Atlas at chapters.indigo.ca
44. Lonely Planet Amazing World Atlas – (2nd edition to be released November, 2020) – Embark on a journey to every continent in the world to meet its Indigenous people, learn about its culture and customs, and understand how it came to be the place it is today.
Explore the globe using continental and regional maps and read about the landscape and population of every independent country on the planet. Plus mind-blowing facts, fascinating history, and captivating culture help you become an expert on our world.Buy Lonely Planet Amazing World Atlas 2nd edition at chapters.indigo.ca
45. Lonely Planet Kids Our Extreme Earth by Anne Rooney – Explore amazing environments around the world and discover how life survives there. Journey to unbelievable habitats on every continent, and discover how people and animals have adapted to live in such extreme environments from the hottest, driest deserts to freezing cold glaciers, remote islands, the wettest rainforests and much more.Buy Lonely Planet Kids Our Extreme Earth at chapters.indigo.ca
46. Lonely Planet Kids The Travel Book – Take a world tour through 200 countries with this bestselling kids’ version of Lonely Planet’s popular The Travel Book, loaded with thousands of amazing facts on wildlife, how people live, sports, hideous and mouthwatering food, festivals and a wide range of other quirky insights on every page.
Every single country gets its own dedicated page, and a mix of photography and beautiful illustrations brings each land to life. Perfect for keeping explorers aged 8 years and up entertained on the road.Buy Lonely Planet Kids The Travel Book at chapters.indigo.ca
47. Lonely Planet Kids America’s National Parks – Are you ready to explore America’s 60 amazing national parks? This excellent resource from Lonely Planet Kids includes awesome facts, photos and illustrations on every page. You’ll discover erupting geysers, exploding volcanoes, howling wolves, soaring eagles, mountains, glaciers, rainforests and more throughout the continental USA, Hawaii, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands.Buy Lonely Planet Kids America’s National Parks at chapters.indigo.ca
48. Lonely Planet Around the World in 50 Ways – Kids will love exploring the world with this choose-your-own travel adventure. Set off from London, travel across the globe and then try to make your way back again choosing the route and modes of transportation, from bicycles and sleds, to steamboats and hot-air balloons. Visit well-known cities and far-flung destinations along the way and learn facts about each place to create a fun-filled voyage of discovery. Just make your decisions wisely because not every path will take you to where you want to go!Buy Lonely Planet Around the World in 50 Ways at chapters.indigo.ca
49. Lonely Planet City Trails – This excellent series of guidebooks designed for kids is perfect for kids whose families are planning trips or for kids who just want to learn more about the cities. Each guide book includes a series of themed trails that will introduce kids to the best of each city. Destinations include: Barcelona, Singapore, New York, Sydney, Tokyo, London, Rome, Paris and Washington, DC.Buy Lonely Planet City Trails Guidebooks at chapters.indigo.ca
Travel Activity Books
50. Amazing Maps Activity Book by Eilidh Muldoon – This awesome activity book is packed with puzzles and information all about the world around you. Can you spot the tiger hiding in the Indian jungle? Or guide the children to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Or join the dots to reveal the tallest building in the world? Full of puzzles, colouring and facts, this is the perfect book for creative and curious kids aged 7 and up.Buy Amazing Maps Activity Book at chapters.indigo.ca
51. The Ultimate Travel Journal for Kids by Rob Taylor – The Ultimate Travel Journal for Kids is packed with journaling prompts and activities so that no memory goes unwritten. Inside these travel activities for kids, 6-9-year-olds will find guided prompts to record hopes for their trip, highlights, new discoveries and more. Plus, this journal includes ultra-fun travel activities for kids likes fill-in the blanks and crosswords for endless entertainment.Buy The Ultimate Travel Journal for Kids at chapters.indigo.ca
52. Lonely Planet The Travel Activity Book – Explore over 70 countries and cultures around the world in this globetrotting activity and sticker book. With over 250 stickers and a mix of colorful illustrations and photos, The Travel Activity Book is your ticket to learning all you want to know about tropical rainforests, bustling cities, soaring mountains, wild animals, diverse people and cultures, and more.Buy Lonely Planet The Travel Activity Book at chapters.indigo.ca
53. Lonely Planet Kids My Family Travel Map – North America – Introduce kids to the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean and get them to help plan their next family trip with this giant fold-out map. Bright and colorful, it unfolds into a detailed poster ready for kids to personalize by adding stickers to mark their family’s travels and favorite locations. Flipping the map over reveals lots of fun facts to learn along the way.
This is a more detailed regional version of the original Lonely Planet Kids My Family Travel Map. There is also a My Family Travel Map Europe and a My Family Travel Map Australia.Buy Lonely Planet Kids My Family Travel Map – North America at chapters.indigo.ca
54. Lonely Planet Kids Backyard Explorer – The best adventures start at home! Scribble, jot and draw in this brilliant fill-in journal, brought to you by Lonely Planet Kids. Backyard Explorer is filled with fun things to make, do and find, to discover the exciting world beyond kids’ front door! They can go cloud-spotting, make a skyline collage, design a dream house, complete a scavenger hunt, and much more. Kids will see their surroundings in a wonderful new way!Buy Lonely Planet Kids Backyard Explorer at chapters.indigo.ca
55. The Everything Kids Travel Activity Book – Packed full of puzzles, activities, quizzes, and games, this book provides hours of nonstop fun that can be done alone or shared with other kids.Buy The Everything Kids Travel Activity Book at chapters.indigo.ca
56. America the Beautiful to Color by Zoe Ingram – America the Beautiful to Color features gorgeous designs of the sights and scenes for an epic American road trip. Perfect for armchair travelers and experienced explorers alike, America the Beautiful to Color is 96 pages, and in a big 10×10 format. The black-and-white interior is printed on heavy paper stock, good for colored pencils and most markers. A great colouring book for kids or adults!Buy America the Beautiful To Color at chapters.indigo.ca
57. Where’s Waldo: The Totally Essential Travel Collection by Martin Handford – This collection should keep the kids busy for the duration of your trip! Waldo seekers on their own voyages will be raring to go with this compact compilation featuring all seven of his renowned excursions: Where’s Waldo?; Where’s Waldo Now?; Where’s Waldo? The Fantastic Journey; Where’s Waldo? The Wonder Book; Where’s Waldo? In Hollywood; Where’s Waldo? The Great Picture Hunt!; and Where’s Waldo? The Incredible Paper Chase.Buy Where’s Waldo? The Totally Essential Travel Collection at chapters.indigo.ca
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