100 books like Mr. Gumpy's Outing

By John Burningham,

Here are 100 books that Mr. Gumpy's Outing fans have personally recommended if you like Mr. Gumpy's Outing. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Journey

Talitha Shipman Author Of Finding Beauty

From my list on inspiring childlike wonder for all ages.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an award-winning children's book author-illustrator. I’ve spent the last fifteen years dreaming up stories that I hope will inspire curiosity and wonder in kids of all ages. I’m also a life-long learner! I can’t get enough info about this amazing world we live in. The more I learn, the more I realize that being a noticer, someone who slows down to observe the tiny details around them, will inspire questions and the need to find some surprising and fascinating answers. When my daughter asks a question (and there are many), my mantra has become, “I don’t know, let’s find out!” I hope this list inspires your own adventurous inquiries.

Talitha's book list on inspiring childlike wonder for all ages

Talitha Shipman Why did Talitha love this book?

Wordless picture books are sometimes a bit tricky. How do you “read” them anyways?

But Journey (and its sequels Quest and Return) allow you to dive into the gorgeous artwork and compelling story. Just soak it all in, and you’ll want to set off on your own adventure by the time you're done.

By Aaron Becker,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Journey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Be swept away on an elaborate flight of fancy in this Caldecott award-winning, wondrously illustrated picture book about self-determination and unexpected friendship.

The winner of the prestigious Caldecott Honor, and described by the New York Times as 'a masterwork', Aaron Becker's stunning, wordless picture book debut about self-determination and unexpected friendship follows a little girl who draws a magic door on her bedroom wall. Through it she escapes into a world where wonder, adventure and danger abound. Red marker pen in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon and a flying carpet which carry her on a spectacular journey ...…


Book cover of We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Brandon Todd Author Of Bright Star: An Acorn Book

From my list on finding adventure in your backyard.

Why am I passionate about this?

My family and I moved to a new neighborhood a few years ago and for the first time we discovered what a community can feel like. We feel connected to a diverse group of people. We explore our park and surrounding streets, regularly supporting local shops and frequently bumping into our neighbors and other familiar faces. It’s given us a sense of place. All these books, as well as The Adventure Friends series, encourages this sense of wonder for your local community. You don’t have to go to far off lands to find adventure. Often, it’s right in your backyard!

Brandon's book list on finding adventure in your backyard

Brandon Todd Why did Brandon love this book?

What kind of children’s book list would be complete if I didn’t include a book with a bear in it? So, I’m going with a classic.

I have Flip Flop Flip Flopped through these pages of fun sounds over and over again through the years. I love this story for its simplicity and heart about a family going on a nature walk. As a father of two girls, I’m indebted to Rosen because I’ve employed his bear hunt chant on countless occasions to get my girls excited about exploring our own woods and trails. And the ending on this one is just perfect!

By Michael Rosen, Helen Oxenbury (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked We're Going on a Bear Hunt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Gorgeous gift edition of the classic join in story by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. Shake up a snowstorm with this perfect gift for brave hunters and bear-lovers everywhere!

We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one. Will you come too? For over a quarter of a century, readers have been swishy-swashying and splash-sploshing through this award-winning favourite. This new gift hardback edition includes a superb snow scene on the cover to add fun and festive flurries to your favourite family adventure story. Follow and join in the family's excitement as they wade through the…


Book cover of The Wheels on the Bus

Steve Light Author Of Road Trip! a Whiskers Hollow Adventure

From my list on going on an adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author/illustrator of 26 books for children and a full-time teacher of 3 year old’s in a nursery school. I read 1-2 books to a classroom of little critics every day. I’m also a lover of adventure although most of my adventures take place in my mind, the library or museum! As a storyteller, I love seeing the adventures books can take young readers on. 

Steve's book list on going on an adventure

Steve Light Why did Steve love this book?

As a teacher of 3 year old’s in a nursery school, this is a classroom favorite. Most kids know the song already and here is a small adventure they have gone on – riding the bus. The illustrations are stellar with lots of little stories told only in the illustrations (the box of kittens!) If you put this out in the classroom, get two copies. Sadly the pop-ups don’t survive the love of the students! I keep one pristine in the cabinet to read to the class.

By Paul O. Zelinsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wheels on the Bus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this novelty book of a favourite children's song, the music of the song is also included at the end.


Book cover of Pezzettino

Steve Light Author Of Road Trip! a Whiskers Hollow Adventure

From my list on going on an adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author/illustrator of 26 books for children and a full-time teacher of 3 year old’s in a nursery school. I read 1-2 books to a classroom of little critics every day. I’m also a lover of adventure although most of my adventures take place in my mind, the library or museum! As a storyteller, I love seeing the adventures books can take young readers on. 

Steve's book list on going on an adventure

Steve Light Why did Steve love this book?

A little piece wonders if he belongs to one of the bigger pieces. His adventure of self-discovery leads him to the island of Wham! With abstract ideas and characters like one-who- runs, strong-one, and swimming-one, children usually identify with the characters, especially Pezzettino being little. I often hear children “playing” this story during recess after I read it to my class.

By Leo Lionni,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pezzettino as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A classic fable about the search for identity, from Caldecott Honor winning picture book creator Leo Lionni.

Pezzettino lives in a world in which everyone is big and does daring and wonderful things. But he is small, just a “little piece,” which is the meaning of pezzettino in Italian. “I must be a piece of somebody. I must belong to someone else,” he thinks. How Pezzettino learns that he belongs to no one but himself is the joyous and satisfying conclusion to this beautiful mosaic style picture book.


Book cover of Boats for Papa

Robin Hall Author Of The Littlest Weaver

From my list on picture books for healing from loss.

Why am I passionate about this?

All my life, books have been a safe space for me to explore emotions, recognize that what I’m experiencing is universal, and see that we can cope with difficult situations. As I pursued my MFA in Writing, I studied and wrote books that address heavy topics in hopeful ways. As Matt de la Pena says, “I can’t think of a safer place to explore complex emotions … than inside the pages of a book.” The picture books I have chosen address the heavy topic of loss in sensitive, hopeful, and empowering ways. I hope these books will touch your life as much as they’ve touched mine.

Robin's book list on picture books for healing from loss

Robin Hall Why did Robin love this book?

When I first brought Boats for Papa home, my son wanted to read it over and over. He even made his own boats and gave them to us with notes filled with hearts.

Boats for Papa is a sensitive, endearing story written and illustrated by the brilliant Jessixa Bagley. Buckley lives on the water with his mother and collects driftwood to make into boats with messages to send to his deceased father. He believes if the boats don’t come back, they make it to his father.

What I love so much about this story is the sweet relationship of a mother and son. As the story progresses, Buckley realizes the boats do come back to shore, but that his mother had been collecting them. He sends out a sweet, final boat with a message for her.

By Jessixa Bagley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Boats for Papa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Buckley and his Mama live in a cosy cabin by the ocean. He loves to carve boats out of the driftwood he finds on the beach nearby. He makes: big boats, long boats, short boats, and tall boats, each one more beautiful than the last, and sends them out to sea. If they don't come back, he knows they've found their way to his papa, whom he misses very much. In this stunning debut, author/illustrator Jessixa Bagley explores the subtle and deep emotions associated with loss in a heart-warming tale that is sure to stay with the reader long after…


Book cover of Swallows and Amazons

Katie Munnik Author Of The Aerialists

From my list on characters who assume new names.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was named after my father’s aunt, who moved from Canada to Switzerland in the 1920s to join a travelling church. Family lore remembers she rode a bicycle in the mountains and when she was dying, her sisters sent her maple leaves in the mail to remind her where she started. As a child, I was fascinated by this mysterious other Katie. Why did my father choose her name for me? Would I be like her? Did I get to choose? As a novelist, I love choosing names. Their power is subtle but strong, and when a writer gives a character more than one name, new layers emerge and stories bloom.

Katie's book list on characters who assume new names

Katie Munnik Why did Katie love this book?

I first read Swallows and Amazons lying on my belly beside a swimming pool while my little brother splashed through his lessons. I was caught by the inventive adventuring, the sailing and camping and the sheer—parentless!—freedom of the Walker and Blackett children. And most of all, I loved Nancy Blackett, whose real name was Ruth but changed it because everyone knows the Amazon pirates are ruthless. I’ve since read it with my own children, and the magic continues, though these days, I have more sympathy with the mother who, looking for some quiet, thought to pack her kids off to camp by themselves on an island. 

I should point out the second assumed name in this story. Ransom really did know children who sailed small boats in the Lake District, and one of the boats really was called Swallow—and the other one was Mavis. Hardly a good name for pirates!

By Arthur Ransome,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Swallows and Amazons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

The ultimate children's classic - long summer days filled with adventure.

John, Susan, Titty and Roger sail their boat, Swallow, to a deserted island for a summer camping trip. Exploring and playing sailors is an adventure in itself but the island holds more excitement in store. Two fierce Amazon pirates, Nancy and Peggy, challenge them to war and a summer of battles and alliances ensues.

'My childhood simply would not have been the same without this book. It created a whole world to explore, one that lasted long in the imagination after the final page had been read' - Marcus…


Book cover of Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog

David Baboulene Author Of Ocean Boulevard

From my list on humorous travel that also deliver great stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I only read humour, and it was my passion to write humour. When I was lucky enough to find myself travelling the world and working on cargo ships, the source material presented itself, and I took my chance. Publishers were wary of the crudity inherent to a sailor’s life, so I present myself as if P.G. Wodehouse himself had gone to sea. I am the butt of all the pranks, and horrified by what I see around me. So I was able to write a book that addresses the truth of a shipboard life… but leaves the suggested extremes to your imagination!

David's book list on humorous travel that also deliver great stories

David Baboulene Why did David love this book?

Growing up, I only read humour.

I just love to laugh and when a book has you making the pictures in mind for yourself and laughing out loud, there really is nothing better. And Three Men in a Boat sends me directly to the floor every time I read it, and I will never stop reading it as long as I live.

It is rightly a classic and still in the shops nearly 140 years later. My book is a homage to Three Men in a Boat. I followed the style and form, and acknowledge Jerome K Jerome in my front-matter.

My book is really 15 Men in a Boat, and if it is even 10% as good as Three, I will rightly be very proud of myself (if not my mathematics).

By Jerome K. Jerome,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Three Men in a Boat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), published in 1889, is a humorous account by English writer Jerome K. Jerome of a two-week boating holiday on the Thames from Kingston upon Thames to Oxford and back to Kingston. The book was initially intended to be a serious travel guide, with accounts of local history along the route, but the humorous elements took over to the point where the serious and somewhat sentimental passages seem a distraction to the comic novel. One of the most praised things about Three Men in a Boat is how undated it…


Book cover of Little Toot

Scott Santoro Author Of Candy Cane Lane

From my list on picture books about inanimate objects.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was about ten, my mother brought home our one and only outdoor Christmas decoration, a plastic choir boy. One blustery night, we saw something streak by the living room windows. Rushing outside, we were shocked to see our choirboy lying amongst the shrubbery, his plastic neck broken. My father made several valiant attempts at surgery with various kinds of glue and tape, but the poor little choir boy was never really the same and eventually he was thrown into the trash. This childhood memory inspired me to write Candy Cane Lane and fortunately I was about to give it a much happier ending.

Scott's book list on picture books about inanimate objects

Scott Santoro Why did Scott love this book?

Gramatky had been a Disney artist in the 1930s. Legend has it Walt had passed on his story about a little tugboat that saves the day, but after Gramatky left the studio and the book became popular, Disney then had second thoughts and adapted it into one of the shorts compromising the wartime animated feature Melody TimeThe theme is familiar but potent: being small does not mean you are insignificant, a lesson of encouragement for any child. The illustrations are loose yet beautifully expressive. Gramatky wrote another book about an inanimate object – Homer the Circus Train. Although the story is not as iconic, the illustrations are equally fine. As for Disney, they carried this theme through to other shorts like Susie the Little Blue Coupe, written and boarded by Bill Peet, who wrote many books of his own. It served as one of the inspirations…

By Hardie Grammatky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Little Toot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

"I am delighted to know that this classic piece of Americana, Little Toot, will be enjoyed by readers of all ages for years go come." --Eric Carle

Celebrate Little Toot's 80th anniversary!

First published in 1939, this classic story of the energetic tugboat who didn't let his size or doubters stop him is brought to new life in this restored edition. With the help and support of Hardie Gramatky's estate, to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, we have used archived first editions and Hardie's original paintings to restore Little Toot to its full glory, bringing back a richness…


Book cover of The Curve of Time: The Classic Memoir of a Woman and Her Children Who Explored the Coastal Waters of the Pacific Northwest

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a highly experienced outdoorsman, musician, songwriter, and backcountry guide who chose teaching as a day job. As a writer, however, I am a promoter of creative and literary nonfiction, especially nonfiction that features a thematic thread, whether it be philosophical, conservation, historical, or even unique experiential. The thread I used for thirty years of teaching high school and honors English was the thread of Conservation, as exemplified by authors like Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Edward O. Wilson, Al Gore, Henry David Thoreau, as well as many other more contemporary authors.

Mark's book list on creative nonfiction books that entertain and teach through threaded essays and stories

Mark Doherty Why did Mark love this book?

As I read M. Wylie Blanchet’s book, I myself was transported through time to one of the most magical and beautiful places in North America—the islands, bays, fjords, and estuaries of British Columbia.

In addition to being right on the water and immersed in the great forests, I was also, like her young children, at school, constantly learning new things about history, culture, ecology, philosophy, and even seamanship! The lively dialogue also made me feel like one of the family, conversing easily as we explored a land that was at that time, very sparsely populated by humanity.

Throughout the book, I noticed and enjoyed a theme of a rich cultural history that portrayed both the First People cultures as well as the fiercely independent and tough early Europeans who settled in select places along the coast. 

By M. Wylie Blanchet,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Curve of Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After her husband died in 1927, leaving her with five small children, everyone expected the struggles of single motherhood on a remote island to overcome M. Wylie Blanchet. Instead, this courageous woman became one of the pioneers of "family travel," acting as both mother and captain of the twenty-five-foot boat that became her family's home during the long Northwest summers. Blanchet's lyrically written account reads like fantastic fiction, but her adventures are all very real. There are dangersrough water, bad weather, wild animalsbut there are also the quiet respect and deep peace of a woman teaching her children the wonder…


Book cover of First You Have to Row a Little Boat: Reflections on Life & Living

Christopher Rosow Author Of Vital Deception

From my list on heroes that we can relate to.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember devouring Tom Clancy’s Hunt for Red October. I loved the premise, the technology, the maritime aspect, and most of all, how Jack Ryan, a normal guy, managed to buck conventional wisdom and groupthink. Then, as the genre developed, it became more and more about the so-called “super spy.” While I enjoy the characters—the list is long: Jack Ryan Junior, Mitch Rapp, Scot Harvath, Hayley Chill… I can’t relate. I mean, they go on five-mile runs before breakfast, never break a sweat, and remain perfectly composed. That’s not me. That might not be you, either. Ben Porter is my answer to the unachievable perfection in the current crop of heroes.

Christopher's book list on heroes that we can relate to

Christopher Rosow Why did Christopher love this book?

Richard Bode’s pocket-sized memoir was given to me by a college friend, shortly after our graduation (as I write this, that was about three decades ago, and I still have this little book on my shelf within reach). It’s got water and sailing (both of which I love), but more importantly, it’s also chock-full of life lessons—without being preachy or overbearing. In the end, you realize that you can plot your own course, adapt to the shifts of wind and waves (Bode’s metaphor for life), and become your own hero.

By Richard Bode,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked First You Have to Row a Little Boat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

FIRST YOU HAVE TO ROW A LITTLE BOAT first hit shelves in the mid 1990s and has been inspiring readers ever since. Written by a grown man looking back on his childhood, it reflects on what learning to sail taught him about life: making choices, adapting to change, and becoming his own person. The book is filled with the spiritual wisdom and thought-provoking discoveries that marked such books as Walden, The Prophet, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. For nearly twenty years, it has enchanted and endeared sailors and non-sailors alike, but foremost, anyone who seeks large truths…


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