This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for details.

Picture Books Around the World for Kids!

Welcome to Day 2 of our Around the World Hopscotch!

Today you’ll find a list of picture books that show life around the world. Plus, you will find links to our 5 Days Around-the-World Series and two free printables!


Hop around to find a ton of resources to support your elementary continent studies!

Day 1 Sunday: Elementary Continent Studies
You’ll find: General geography resources and materials appropriate for elementary aged children plus all of the links to our resources by continent! Plus a free printable pack.

Day 2 Monday: Around the World Picture Books. That’s this post!

Day 3 Tuesday: Movies Around the World

Day 4 Wednesday: Shows Around the World

Day 5 Thursday: Apps and Websites for Elementary Geography

Be sure to grab this free Around the World Printable while you’re here! Find our very favorite resources, printable lists, and a few ideas that will work with any continent or country study!

travel tales

Read FREE for 30 days with Epic!

Our Around the World kindergarten curriculum has led us to some amazing story books. Our school days often extended into the night with bedtime stories from exotic places across the globe. Read on for our favorites plus links to YouTube read alouds.

One of my fears when we began our homeschool journey was that “school” would extend to all hours of the day and night – across the weekends and holidays. Well it has! My oldest son’s desire to learn is insatiable.

It often begins before I wake up in the morning with a whisper, “Mom, the honey mushroom is the largest living thing on Earth!” to the moments before bed when I have to promise: “Just leave your book open on the table. No one will move it. It will be there in the morning. I swear. Now go to bed!” But my fears were unwarranted.

His thirst for knowledge is just part of who he is. “Doing school” has woven it’s way in and out of the fabric of our lives. It’s part of every day now – not an addition to some days. It’s just the way we live our lives.

Over the course of the year we have come across some amazing stories from around the world. I hang on to them as long as I can – reading the same bedtime story for as many nights in a row as he’ll allow. The alternative is reading Better Homes and Gardens Month-by-Month Gardening in Florida at bedtime… His favorite. Not mine!

This is a list of our very favorites. Any of these would be a great supplement for your continent studies and lesson plans, but mostly we’ve read them for enjoyment. There’s something about learning from stories retold again and again. A way to introduce your child to people and places from far, far away that’s gentle and more memorable than reading from a text.

Books About North America for Kids

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola
One of my all time favorite children’s book authors, dePaola shares this beautiful tale with equally gorgeous illustrations of the North American plains.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michaels Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
We were inspired to turn this book into a unit study. It is still a family favorite!

Little House in the Big Woods Picture Book Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
After struggling to get through the chapter book, we turned to this pitcure book series that so beautifully accompanied our assigned reading.

Books about South America for Kids

A Walk in the Rainforest by Kristin Joy Pratt
There is so much to see in the Rainforest! This book plants and animals from A to Z. One of our most requested bedtime books of the year.

The Great Kapok Tree by  Lynne Cherry
A gorgeously illustrated book that inspired us to build our own kapok tree with many of the animals that make it their home.

Waiting for the Biblioburro by John Parra
Based on a true story from Columbia, this book shares a sweet story about the love of books and how one person can make a big difference.

Picture Books about Europe for Kids

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
We made our way through the entire Madeline series during our unit on France. I especially loved the illustrations of landmarks and monuments around Europe.

Klimt and His Cat by Berenice Cappati
A look inside the artist’s Vienna studio and an engaging, whimsical peek into the life and work of Gustav Klimt.

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
Another favorite from dePaola, Strega Nona is a lovable, Italian “Grandmother Witch” character found in this series of memorable modern classics.


The Story of Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman
This modern rewrite of a classic children’s story stars an Indian family and a fabulous bunch of tigers. A humorous and fun addition to your Asia continent studies.

The Empty Pot by Demi
A heartwarming story with a memorable moral – honesty is the best policy, even in the face of failure.

The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
A librarian from Iraq saving her beloved books. This true story gave us a more serious look inside a life vastly different than our own.

Picture Books about Africa for Kids

I Lost my Tooth in Africa by Penda Diakite
A fun (and timely for a kindergartner) story about a memorable trip to Africa

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema
An African folk tale with a moral about how your actions can affect everyone around you.

The Watcher by Jeanette Winter
An intriguing look into the life and and ground breaking work of Jane Goodall. We loved reading about Goodall’s adventures in Africa so much that we expanded it into a full unit study.


Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles
A fun story about a bored Emu searching for something better to do.

Over in the Ocean by Marianne Berkes
A rhythmic story about the animals of Australia’s coral reef.


Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
What would you do if a penguin showed up on your doorstep? This is a very sweet story of a lost and then found penguin.

Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant
This is a delightful book about three penguins playing on a snowy day with beautiful illustrations.

The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett
Technically not Antarctica, but we studied the polar regions together. Jan Brett is one of our favorites. This polar bear adventure won’t disappoint!

Top elementary geography posts from the Resource Room:

I’m so excited to be part of IHomeschoolNetwork’s Hopscotch. Find tips, encouragement and resources for your homeschool in this week’s exciting posts!

5 Day Hopscotch with iHomeschoolNetwork

7 replies on “20 Lovely Picture Books from Around the World for Kids!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.