Bring Books to Life: Take a Reading Field Trip

Check out these seven children's book destinations you can visit.

By Stacey Zable




Reading books transports children to places around the corner or around the world. Help bring the books to life by visiting some of the destinations they read about this summer. They’ll come back excited and ready to discover more. The following book destinations are just the start of where the pages in your children’s books can lead them.

1. Aquariums, Zoos, and Farms
A visit to the beach just whets their appetite to discover more about the world of water. Then visit a local aquarium. Read Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish, written by Janet Halfmann, to get them excited about the trip. The local zoo and/or farm can provide the setting for a day of animal discoveries on land. Among the countless animal books, the classic Charlotte’s Web, written by E. B. White, will forever change the way your children look at a spider and pig after reading about their special friendship on a farm.

2. Baseball Game and Other Sporting Events
Sports lovers will want to read about how to get better at their favorite sports and about legendary athletes. Read You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!, written by Jonah Winter, together for a picture book biography of the great baseball player before heading to a local game.

3. Museums
Get kids excited about visiting local museums by reading about fictional characters’ adventures in their treasure-filled halls. Follow Claudia and her brother Jamie as they run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, written by E. L. Konigsburg.

4. Planetarium
There is a whole world of planets and stars and skies above to explore in books, and pairing these books with a trip to the planetarium will astound kids even further. Night Sky, from the Scholastic Discover More series and written by Giles Sparrow, helps kids understand the stars and constellations above, while Meg Parker and the Planetarium Mystery, written by Eleanor Robins ,offers a fictional glimpse of a trip to the planetarium that is full of intrigue. 

5. Theater
Buy tickets to a live show, musical, concert, or dance performance after reading about Angelina Ballerina in any one of the series books, written by Katharine Holabird, or about Olivia’s time on the stage in Olivia Star of the Show, written by Tina Gallo.

6Family Vacation Summer Destination
The American Girl books beautifully mix history with fictional stories in numerous destinations. One option this summer is to head to Colonial Williamsburg, VA, after reading the Felicity series books written by Valerie Tripp. Visit places found in the books, such as the Governor’s Palace where Felicity had her special dance, to make the past truly come alive.

7. The Beach
Summertime is the ideal time to explore the sun, sand, and surf of both non-fiction and fiction books. Kids can pretend they’re stranded on their own island and come up with ways to survive after reading Island of the Blue Dolphins written by Scott O’Dell. If snorkeling is on the activity list during a beach outing, have kids read Shipwrecks: Exploring Sunken Cities Beneath the Sea, written by Mary M. Cerullo, and imagine the treasures that lie under the water.

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