A sense of adventure starts in childhood. You can probably still vividly remember the books that made your younger self yearn for the open road and the call of the wild.
We asked the dirty little creatures here at Scrubbington's HQ for the children's books that made them want to explore:
My Side Of The Mountain : Jean George
This tale of a boy who runs away to live alone in a tree on the Catskills mountain is a naturalist’s delight. With an un-romanticised view of the hardships of living in the wild, this book is chock full of survival tips. We guarantee that after reading this book, all young people will be straight outside to build a treehouse.
Where the Wild Things Are : Maurice Sendak
A picture book beloved by children for over 40 years, naughty Max in his wolf suit soon discovers a world beyond his bedroom walls and becomes King of All Wild Things.
On The Banks Of Plum Creek : Laura Ingalls Wilder
Whilst it’s predecessor Little House On The Prairie might be the most widely known of the series, this book is delightful in it’s detailing of riverside life and foraging. Could any bricks and mortar house beat the adventure of living in a house dug out of the grass banks of the river?
Traction Man : Mini Grey
Traction Man is a picture book about a superhero with a difference, and he's never knowingly under dressed for the occasion.
Charley : Joan G. Robinson
This charming book is more a tale of feeling unloved and unwanted than a classic adventure story. When Charley mistakenly believes her aunt does not want her to stay, she runs away. It perfectly captures the loneliness of surviving on your own and might also persuade your little runaways to plan ahead before they make their great escape.
Thursday’s Child : Noel Streatfeild
A classic tale of orphans and runaways. This book sees our foundling heroine run away from the cruel orphanage in which she is being raised to live on a canal boat. Full of interesting insights into life on a barge at the turn of the century, this will make any child want to experience a ‘leggers’ life.
We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea : Arthur Ransome
This follow-up to the perennial favourite Swallows and Amazons sees the Walker children accidentally set sail for the Dutch coast after they lose their anchor. A proper seafaring tale of pluck and resourcefulness, this will ensure your young people are clamouring to learn knot tying this summer
Five On A Treasure Island : Enid Blyton
No list would be complete without Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog. This is the first in the Famous Five series and has everything you could possibly want in an adventure story: a secret island, buried treasure, shipwrecks and lashings of ginger beer!
What were the books that inspired your childhood adventures and what are the best modern books for today’s little explorers?