Get ready for a world of adventure! With these picture books for adventurers, every day brings new excitement. Whales, pirates, dinosaurs, and wild things await your child in the pages of these books. So buckle up…there’s adventure ahead!
Read the synopses of my favorites below, and download my free library list to take with you on your next visit to the library.
Amos & Boris
by William Steig
In this high-seas, Aesop-esque tale, a whale and a mouse prove that friendship isn’t always logical—and it should never be defined by how big or small you are, what you look like, or where you live. Amos lives on the land and Boris lives in the sea, but together they discover the true meaning of friendship.
Rory the Dinosaur: Me and My Dad
by Liz Climo
Do you remember the first time you ventured out into the world all by yourself? You may not have realized it at the time, but you probably weren’t quite as alone as you thought . This sweet picture book is a great reminder that as wonderful as all-by-myself adventures are, adventures with dad are always better!
How I Became a Pirate
by Melinda Long
Building a sandcastle may seem like a pretty safe activity, but if you’re not careful, you may find yourself being recruited by a band of pirates! Just ask Jeremy Jacob–that’s exactly how he became a pirate! At first, Jeremy thinks being a pirate is very exciting, but before long he realizes it may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
by Mary Hoffman
An adventurous spirit doesn’t start with a plane ticket or a tank of gas; it starts with the dream of something amazing. Amazing Grace is that kind of adventure, and Grace is that kind of girl. To Grace, stories aren’t just stories—she lives them. And all her adventures convince Grace that if she just puts her mind to it, she can do anything!
Little Elliot Big City
by Mike Curato
Elliot is a small elephant with a BIG problem: he’s a small elephant living in a BIG city. If you’ve ever felt small, this book is for you. It will help you remember that there’s always someone who is smaller than you—and that smaller-than-you someone might really need a friend. Little Elliot Big City is about as sweet as it gets!
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole
by Mac Barnett
Sam and Dave won’t stop digging until they find something spectacular. But somehow they just keep missing the big treasure! You’ll want to squeal! You’ll want to yell, “Just a little deeper!” or “Dig to the left!” You’ll want to see this adventure through to the very end, because somehow, Mac Barnett turns Sam and Dave’s adventure into yours.
Wherever You Go
by Pat Zietlow Miller
Wherever You Go gives wings to the notion that “life is a journey, not a destination.” With enticing rhyme and whimsical characters, Pat Zietlow Miller invites you to remember that just outside every door is a road that leads to adventure. This book is an irresistible journey—sweet and charming, but full of adventure.
Three Bears in a Boat
by David Soman
When three bears break their mother’s favorite blue shell, their hunt to find just the right replacement takes them on the adventure of a lifetime. On their voyage, they encounter some salty sailor bears, a pod of whales, and a very scary, dark cave. You just never know what wonderful places a mother’s love will take you.
Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak
It was in 1963 that Max first cried, “Let the wild rumpus start!” If you’ve never read Where the Wild Things Are with your children—or if it’s just been a very long time—it may be time to join Max and the Wild Things for a rumpus of epic proportions. This classic is imagination and adventure at its very best.
The Day the Crayons Came Home
by Drew Daywalt
In this sequel to Drew Daywalt’s brilliant The Day the Crayons Quit, a motley crew of irritated crayons have had enough! They’re the lost and long-forgotten crayons and all they want is to get back to the safety and security of home…the crayon box!
by Anthony Browne
Hannah loves gorillas, but her father just doesn’t have time to take her to visit the gorillas at the zoo. The night before her birthday, Hannah’s father gives her a toy gorilla…and that’s just the beginning of a real gorilla adventure for Hannah and her new friend!
Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken
by Kate DiCamillo
Read along as Louise the chicken sets out to find herself an adventure! Her search for excitement leads her onto a pirate ship, into the circus, and to a bazaar—but will Louise find any place more wonderful than her own henhouse?
Harold and the Purple Crayon
by Crockett Johnson
Harold wants to take a walk in the moonlight—but first he has to draw the moon with his magical purple crayon. Before long, Harold has created an amazing adventure. This classic (and very purple!) picture book is a beautiful story of imagination and creativity.
by Aaron Becker
If you’re ready for adventure, follow along as two children begin a quest to bring color back to their colorless kingdom. Armed with magical crayons, the children travel from place to place, drawing everything needed to complete their journey and save the king.
Sebastian and the Balloon
by Philip C. Stead
What do you do when nothing fun ever happens on your street? Well, Sebastian decides he’s going to fly away—in a homemade hot air balloon! Are you bored, too? Why not join Sebastian and his new friends as they work together to tackle a difficult project?
The Secret Shortcut
by Mark Teague
Wendell and Floyd are in big trouble. Their adventures keep making them late for school, and their teacher has had enough. She tells them they must get to school on time…or else! But how can the boys keep from being late when their walks to school are so … well … adventurous?
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
by Michael Rosen
This is not your standard everyday adventure—it’s a bear hunt! But beware! Along the way, you’ll encounter long, wavy grass, a deep, cold river, and a big, dark forest. Can you go under them? Can you go over them? No, you’ll have to go through them! And what will you do if you find a bear?
The Circus Ship
by Chris Van Dusen
What would you do if a ship full of circus animals washed up in your village? And what would you do if the zookeeper returned to take the animals back to the circus? Read along to discover what the villagers in Chris Van Dusen’s The Circus Ship do to help their new friends!
The Adventures of Beekle:
The Unimaginary Friend
by Dan Santat
Beekle is an imaginary friend who lives on an imaginary island with lots of other imaginary friends, all just waiting to be imagined by a child. But when it seems like Beekle is never going to be imagined, he does the unimaginable and sails away to find himself a friend!
How to Make an Apple Pie
and See the World
by Marjorie Priceman
When you want to make an apple pie and the market is closed, what do you do? Well, you might have to stow away on a boat to Jamaica for sugar. Or you could hitch a ride to England for cream. Because when you want to make apple pie, nothing will stand in your way!
Would you like to read some of my favorite picture books for adventurers with your children? Click to download my list to take to your local library.
Looking for MORE books? You can find more great library lists here!
Do you have a favorite picture book for adventurers? Please share it in the comments and I’ll add it to our Readers’ Picks list!