Ah Geography books! There is nothing like travelling the world from the comfort of your armchair 🙂
I have to admit that we learned a lot of geography from playing educational board games. But reading books of far and distant lands came a close 2nd! And like all my book lists there isn’t a dry textbook in sight.
I made this list hard for myself by trying not to include a lot of historical based geography books. Instead I wanted the geography to be the main feel of the book. I didn’t always succeed – but I did try 🙂 However, this seems to have meant that I am heavy on picture books over older children fiction. Sorry!
So which ones did we love? Here are my top kids geography books.
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Around the World
This section covers books that take you travelling around the world in one sitting!
One of our favorite picture books is ‘How to Make an Apple Pie and see the World”. A lovely little book with lots of potential homeschool projects. We evaporated salt from seawater (although I admit to not using it!), we churned butter – and made the apple pie recipe at the back of the book.
We also did a very fun project with Around the World in 80 days. A good alternative version is “Around the World with Phineas Frog”. This is a fantastic rhyming geographical puzzle story book. Phineas goes around the world with his daughter – and you have to guess which country he is in. The pair get into quite a few scrapes (although the daughter is more interested in shopping!). There is a page of puzzles at the back of the book, and a map for you to plan out the route that Phineas followed. Although a picture book, this would actually suit older children. It is quite difficult to guess Phineas’s location and the rhyming seems to make it less childish.
“Knees knocking, they travel a treacherous track, on top on an ox-cart pulled by a yak.
Over the high Himalayas they go, heading towards the Tibetan Plateau.”
Reading across the US
There are so many wonderful books available to help you read from State to State! If you want a complete list then I recommend you buy A Picture Perfect Childhood. It is full of fabulous picture book recommendations including an across America booklist and a 12 month historical timeline. I know I am always recommending this 🙂 but it really is superb.
The Discover America State-by-State Alphabet series have a lovely alphabet book for each state. There is a rhyming verse on each page- with extra text for older children. I have included a few examples below.
Again, I am also re-recommending the Holling C. Holling books. Paddle to the Sea really is mostly set in Canada but is a great read-aloud for older children. There are lots of unit studies/activities to go with the books online too.
More World Travel
This is a real mix of story books covering different cultures and countries. So for example Miss Happiness and Miss Flower is a favorite of mine. A mix of English and Japanese culture.
I have also included several ‘Mitsumasa Anno’ books because they are so beautiful. There have no words but I can sit and look at them for hours! The US one is in the section above. Well worth having at least one in your collection.
I am hoping my daughter got her love of orienteering from the beautiful map books we used in our homeschooling!
I have included Katy and the Big Snow because that is where it all started for us. A lovely fun read with lots of referring to the map in the front. It inspired all kinds of map drawing and building paper towns with ‘toy car’ roads.
Probably the most ‘dry’ book here is The Map Corner. It has lots of blank maps, lesson plans and activities for those of you who like that. We did enjoy the activity to trace the route of Amelia Earhart’s flight around the earth.
Some books to help you learn more about geographical features. I personally wasn’t a big fan of the Horrible Geography books – but my son was 🙂
Kids Geography Books
There are loads more, I am sure. This is just a small selection. Got a recommendation? Just leave me a comment or come visit my facebook page.