Adventure Picture Books for Elementary Teachers in 2024

Are you looking for picture books filled with adventure? This post shares popular adventure picture books that elementary teachers often use as read alouds. All of the children’s books on this list lend themselves to this topic really well. Take a peek below to learn more about these adventure picture books!

5 Adventure Picture Books

Below is a list of some of our favorite adventure picture books for kids at the elementary level. Check them out below!

1. The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat is about how Beekle has a problem. Children in the real world have imagined all the other imaginary friends besides him. He is the only one left on Imaginary Friend Island. Instead of waiting for a child to imagine him, Beekle decides to go out to the real world and find his friend himself.

Beekle travels to the real world, and is the first imaginary friend to do so. He finds his way into a park with children playing with other imaginary friends. Beekle climbs to the top of a tree and waits for a friend to find him. He is sad when everyone goes home, and then he hears someone say hello. His real world friend has finally found him!

Check out these The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

The Adventures of Beekle book cover
The Adventures of Beekle activities

2. Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is about a mischievous boy named Max. Max likes to wear his wolf costume and pretend to be a wild thing. Max gets sent to his room without dinner when he is rude to his mother and slowly his room turns into a forest and he travels to wear the wild things are.

When Max arrives where the wild things are they show him their terrible claws, roars, and gnash their terrible teeth. Max becomes king of the wild things and leads him in a rumpus.

Max grows lonely and misses having someone who truly loves him so he returns home. His supper is waiting for him in his room and it is still warm.

Check out these Where The Wild Things Are lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

Where the Wild Things are book cover
Where the Wild Things Are book and activity

3. Corduroy by Don Freeman

Corduroy by Don Freeman is about a bear that lives in the toy department of a store. Each day, he hopes that someone is going to take him home. One day, a little girl stops by to look at Corduroy. While she wants to take the bear home, her mother said she had already spent too much money in the store. She also said Corduroy did not look new because he was missing a button. 

That night once all the shoppers have left the store, Corduroy goes out in search of his missing button. He takes the escalator upstairs, thinking it is a mountain and he has always wanted to climb a mountain. He makes his way into a room full of chairs, sofas, lamps and mattresses. When Corduroy is climbing on one of the mattresses he finds a button. He pulls and pulls until the button snaps off and sends him flying. That alerts the watchman who finds Corduroy and brings him back to the toy shelf.

The next morning, Corduroy wakes to find the little girl from the day before. She had returned to the store with money from her piggy bank to take Corduroy home. She brings him to her room where she has a little bed set up for him, right next to hers. Lisa replaces Corduroy’s button and he realizes she is a friend. Something both of them had always wanted.

Check out these Corduroy lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

Corduroy book cover
Corduroy book and activity

4. The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen

In The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen, there was a circus ship with a greedy boss floating off the coast of Maine. When the boat began to crash, he told the captain to save him, not the animals.

The animals float to shore and frolic through the town, raising chaos. That is, until there was a fire and the tiger remembered how he used to jump through rings. He went into the building and saved the family.

From that moment, the townspeople appreciated the animals. A messenger came running, saying the greedy boss was there to collect his animals. Quickly, the people disguised the animals so the ringleader could not take them. The animals and people lived happily together in the little town of Maine from then on.

Check out these The Circus Ship lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

The Circus Ship book cover
The Circus Ship book and activity

5. The Couch Potato by Jory John

In The Couch Potato by Jory John, The Couch Potato is happy with his life. He spends all day on the couch, and doesn’t have to get up for anything. He loves his comfortable couch and is happy that he never has to leave. He has gadgets and devices that can do everything for him and he doesn’t have to meet up with friends in person! He can see them through the screens. The Couch Potato thought that this was the perfect life.

One day, a new device was delivered to The Couch Potato. When he went to plug it in, the power went out! For the first time, he had nothing to do! The Couch Potato decided to take his dog outside for a walk. That’s when he noticed how bright it was and took in all the colors. His walk continued and he heard the birds chirping and noticed the stillness of nature. The Couch Potato enjoyed his time outside and relaxed in the park next a big tree. He took in his surroundings: the clouds, view and sunset.

When he finally returned home, he realized how much of his life he was spending on the couch. In that moment, The Couch Potato decided to spend more time outside. He played outside with his friends more often and took a break from all the technology. The Couch Potato realized he was so much more: entertaining, kind, and smart. But at the end of a long day one thing stayed the same, he still enjoys relaxing on the couch.

Check out these The Couch Potato lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

The Couch Potato book cover
The Couch Potato book and activities

Grab the Free Reading Resources!

In closing, we hope you found this list of adventure picture books helpful! They are part of our Starts With a Story collection. If you want to get more book ideas to read aloud to your elementary students, then grab this reading freebie. It includes read aloud books lists, reading logs, and reading challenges for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom teachers. It will have you covered for the entire school year, as well as the summer months! Grab this free elementary reading packet now!

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