Playing by the book

Reviews of kids' books and the crazy, fun stuff they inspire us to do

Fantastic Fiction for Kids – Adventure!

Posted on | August 26, 2010 | 8 Comments

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This week’s contributor is Megan Blandford, a fellow book blogger who likes to spend her time writing, reading, travelling and photographing. Megan lives in Melbourne with her husband and their beautiful, energetic toddler. Megan blogs at Writing Out Loud about all manner of things that pop into her head, and indulges her love of children’s literature at Kids Book Review. Megan’s chosen topic for this week’s Fantastic Fiction for Kids is adventure! If you’re ready to explore and have some fun with an occasional Australian twist then I’ll hand you straight over to Megan:

Some stories are told to communicate a lesson, others are just for fun and silliness… but there’s nothing like a good old tale of adventure to capture a child’s imagination. Here are some of my daughter’s (okay, MY!) favourite adventure stories:

Wendy by Gus Gordon


An adventurous chicken leaves the farm to pursue a career with the circus, performing as Wendy the Flying Chicken. She becomes famous for her stunt jumps, being written about in the newspaper and interviewed on television. Wendy has everything she ever dreamed of, but she still wants more, so she carefully devises the biggest stunt of her career. But when she crashes, she thinks of life back home on the farm, with her family. It’s back to the quiet life for Wendy… although her schemes aren’t finished just yet. A funny, beautifully written and superbly illustrated story.
Leaf by Stephen Michael King


A little boy escapes his mother and her looming promise to cut his hair, heading outside for an adventure. When a bird drops a seed in his unkempt hair and a leaf sprouts, the boy is thrilled and searches for a way to water it and make it grow and grow. His boisterous canine companion bears the brunt of all the misadventure. This is a unique story without text, allowing King’s wonderful illustrations to shine and tell their own version of events. It will make you laugh hysterically.
Where on Earth is the Moon? by Ruth Martin, illustrated by Olivier Latyk


Luna is obsessed with the moon and loves to watch it shine down on her. But she’s curious about where it goes during the day. She decides to stay up and watch where it disappears to but, falling asleep each time, she is instead taken on adventures in her dreams. Luna heads higher than the mountains, further than the clouds, beyond the ocean and eventually finds the answer. This is a stunning, beautifully descriptive adventure of the imagination.
Rufus the Numbat by David Miller


Rufus doesn’t even know he’s on an adventure when he heads from the city back to his home in the bush. But the people he’s encountered sure do. He causes all sorts of chaos and mishap, from sending a cyclist flying to getting under the feet of a dragon at the grand parade. The greatest appeal of this story is the amazing paper sculpture illustrations and the unusual contrast between the slow, methodical text and frantic visual scenes.
Vivi Finds Bean by Vanessa Holle


Vivi is so keen to meet her godmother, Bean, that she heads on a quest from Germany all the way over to Sydney to find her. Travelling on whales, turtles and kangaroos, she makes her way across the seas and the great big land of Australia to stay with her beloved Bean. This story is told in funny rhyme and the words flow right across the pages in their own mini adventure.

Songs about adventuring!

  • Adventure Quest by The Jellydots
  • All the Little Children by Kesang Marstrand – about all the adventures the yet-to-fall-asleep child could have with the singer
  • Going on an Adventure from Two of a Kind
  • Fun and Adventure by Todd McHatton


  • Activities which might go well with these books:

  • Make your own passport to take with you on your own adventuring – over at Suite 101 there’s a really fun idea for filling your passport with homemade stamps of the places you visit during the holidays eg stamps for the zoo or a museum
  • Even if it’s not nearly spring where you are, you can germinate seeds inside and watch for the first leaf – here’s an example from Parenting Times on how you could do this.
  • Although this project is probably for older kids (or simply parents after the kids have gone to bed!), I can’t resist including how to make an orrery out of lego


  • Megan’s selection has certainly provided me with a few more books to add to my wish list – Thank you Megan!


    If any of you have more suggestions for great picture books on the theme of adventure, please let us know about them via the comments, and do please visit Megan over at Writing Out Loud and say hello!

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    Comments

    8 Responses to “Fantastic Fiction for Kids – Adventure!”

    1. Megan Blandford
      August 26th, 2010 @ 7:59 am

      Thanks for having me on Fantastic Fiction, Zoe!

    2. Zoe
      August 26th, 2010 @ 8:06 am

      It’s a real pleasure, Megan!

    3. Tania McCartney
      August 26th, 2010 @ 8:11 am

      I love it! Adore Megan’s choices and will be scouting through my own collection for more adventure titles to suggest. Wonderful work, Megsy! and keep up the great work, Zoe – we’ll blog about this on Kids Book Review!

      x

    4. Zoe
      August 26th, 2010 @ 8:32 am

      Hi Tania,
      Thanks for your lovely comment! One of the things I loved about Megan’s post was the fact that it did exactly what I hoped for with FFoK – it drew on megan’s own background and introduced me to books I’d never have found for myself – the australian books are all new to me and ones I’d now love to get hold of.

    5. maggy, red ted art
      August 26th, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

      Oh Zoe! STOP IT! Our library is already TOO big.. not MORE fabulous books for us to be tempted by ;-) they are going on the wishlist… as Red Ted gets older, I am sure we will, erm, need more books!!!

      Maggy

    6. Zoe @ Playing by the book
      August 26th, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

      Sorry Maggy! You should see the length of my wishlist though :-)

    7. Zoe @ Playing by the book
      August 28th, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

      I’ve just come across this list of adventure themed books from the Booktrust:
      http://www.booktrustchildrensbooks.org.uk/Recommended-Books/Children%27s-Book-Lists/Ten-adventure-books

    8. Fantastic Adventure Fiction
      October 17th, 2011 @ 9:32 am

      [...] You can read about my favourite adventure books here! [...]

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