Whether you’re joining us as part of the Read Around the World Children’s summer reading challenge for 2021 or found this book list searching for children’s books set in Antarctica, we hope you’ll find the perfect book suggestions for your needs.
While Antarctica is a vast continent most of us will never get to visit, we can travel to the magical, yet harsh, terrain through books. Whether your child is interested in animals, like penguins, or is more into tales of Antarctic expeditions and adventure, this book list will have something to keep them so entertained they won’t even realize they’re learning!
The list includes 40 books for a range of ages and is divided into sections of best Antarctic story books and children’s picture books about Antarctica, early chapter books for new readers, and middle grade Antarctica books for more advanced readers. You’ll also find a recommended age ranges for every book at the end of each book description.
Far, far south, in the strange and beautiful land of Antarctica, it is dark both day and night all winter long. When spring arrives at last, the penguins and seals raise their young. But, one year, loud, unfamiliar sounds announce the arrival of a new presence―one the animals hope can share this fragile world with them in peace.
It's time to meet ten land and sea animals that live in Antarctica! From sailing leopard seals to haunting icefish, young readers will love discovering the many unique animals of the chilliest continent in this rhyming counting book.
Would you like to go on an Antarctic adventure? Would you want to watch cute penguins play winter games? How about an iceberg escapade? Written in rhyme, this story will take you on a wildly imaginative trip to Antarctica with illustrations that make this frozen continent look like a fairytale.
For Little Pip, the baby penguin, home is a pebbly nest on the cold Antarctic shore. Mama and Papa always remind Pip not to wander far, and she never does...until one day a black, glittery feather leads Pip on a chase far, far from home. As she tries to find her way back to her parents, Pip encounters some friendly animals, a mighty blue whale, a gull, and even a sled dog. But while these animals know where their home is, they do not know where Pip's home is. In her sadness, Pip begins to sing a song about home that her parents taught her. The sound of her voice guides her parents straight to her!
In this Cat in the Hat Learning Library book, the Cat takes Sally and Nick to the North and South Poles to mingle with reindeer, musk oxen, polar bears, caribou, and all sorts of penguins. They discover how the animals stay warm in freezing temperatures, why it’s colder at the South Pole than at the North Pole, that one pole is located on land and the other isn’t, and how scientists are studying climate change to keep both poles icy cold.
Nine-year-old Sophie is going on a month-long voyage to Antarctica with her dad, the captain of an icebreaker ship. Sailing the frozen seas round-trip from Australia to Mawson Station in the South Pole, Sophie recounts the adventure of a lifetime in her own words, illustrations, and color photographs.
This informative and beautiful picture book is based on the author’s own experiences and shows the wonder of Antarctica through a child’s eyes.
Recommended for ages 6-8
Early Readers and Beginner Chapter Books Set in Antarctica
This book is perfect for early readers with detailed illustrations to enhance the text. Read about the landscape, plants, and animals of the North and South Poles, along with information about Arctic and Antarctic explorers and scientists.
This book series provides environmental education through a blend of photography and illustration. The fictional story is supplemented with nonfiction information. In book #3, Riley joins Uncle Max for a voyage to the South Pole. Home to whales, seals, penguins, and 90% of the world's ice, Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth. Max and Riley want to find out if the penguins are getting their fill of krill or if climate change has reshaped the Antarctic food web.
Part of Scholastic's The Seven Continents series, this book will help readers get to know all about the harsh and icy continent isolated at the far southern reaches of the globe. This book is filled with curriculum-relevant subjects and includes resource sections that encourage kids to learn more.
The Magic Treehouse and Merlin Missions book series follow a young brother and sister, Jack and Annie, on their adventures around the world and throughout history. And the Magic Treehouse Fact Tracker books provide additional factual information to help kids learn more about the topics they discovered in the Magic Treehouse adventure books.
Magic Treehouse books are recommended for readers in grades 1-4, and the Merlin Mission books and Fact Trackers are recommended for grades 2-5.
Part of the Around the World in 80 Mysteries series, this book takes mystery-writing Mimi to Antarctica. Scientists at the world’s coldest and windiest continent roll out an icy welcome mat for Mimi and her group – but someone doesn’t want them snooping in his business!
This mystery incorporates history, geography, culture and cliffhanger chapters that keep kids begging for more! It will give kids the scoop on Antarctica including how the continent formed, how cold it is, who owns the continent, who wants to own it, the history of adventurers who went there and the wildlife, including penguins.
This is the amazing true story of Ernst Shackleton's expedition to Antarctica, accompanied by 40 beautiful watercolor illustrations. Intrigued by the mysterious continent at the bottom of the world, Sir Ernest Shackleton led 27 men to explore Antarctica. On their way, their ship - the Endurance - was crushed by the ice! The shipwrecked team was stranded on an ice floe through an Antarctic winter, facing extreme hunger, frostbite, illness, and exhaustion. Through Shackleton's heroic efforts, they sailed in an open wooden lifeboat to the nearest inhabited land and everyone was eventually rescued.
Ranger, the time-traveling golden retriever with search-and-rescue training is back in book #4 of the Ranger in Time series. In this story, he joins an early 20th century expedition to the South Pole alongside Captain Scott. They are racing against a rival explorer to be the first to reach the South Pole, but with unstable ice, killer whales, and raging blizzards, it will be a struggle to stay alive.
Antarctica--the coldest, driest, and windiest continent on Earth-- was virtually untouched by humans until the nineteenth century. Many famous explorers journeyed (and often died) there in the hope of discovering a land that always seemed out of reach. This book introduces readers to this desert continent that holds about 90 percent of the world's ice; showcases some of the 200 species that call Antarctica home, including the emperor penguin; and discusses environmental dangers to the continent, underscoring how what happens to Antarctica affects the entire world.
As a boy, Ernest Shakleton preferred reading sea stories to doing homework. At age 16, he became an apprentice seaman. Ernest Shackleton’s incredible journeys to the South Pole in the early 1900s made him one of the most famous explorers of modern times. His courage in the face of dangerous conditions and unforeseeable tragedies reveals the great leader that he was. His historic 1914 journey aboard the Endurance has all the drama of an action movie.
This middle grade adventure novel is based on a true story. A fiberglass Labrador called Girl is placed on the streets of Hobart, Australia, to collect money for the Royal Guide Dogs of Tasmania. One night, some rowdy Antarctic expeditioners dognap her on their way to the docks. Soon she is headed for Antarctica with a new nickname - Stay. Antarctica holds more adventures that she could have ever imagined.
Buddy is not like other dogs - he seeks adventure around the world. In fact, Buddy the Globetrotter is a great storyteller. In this first of a series of unique travel adventures, Buddy takes his readers on an expedition to Antarctica, a place few have or ever will visit. This daring dog debuts hanging on for dear life crossing the Southern Ocean before entering this pristine wilderness of the Antarctic.
Jack and his foster siblings, Ava and Matt, are not your typical kids. Ava and Matt are both geniuses, and the three of them are working for Hank Witherspoon, one of the world's leading scientists. They travel for Hank to Antarctica for an awards ceremony, but another scientist goes missing. It's up to Jack, Ava, and Matt to discover who's behind it.
This is the first book in a three book series. In each story, readers join Jack, Ava and Matt on adventures around the world to tackle some of science's biggest challenges, including new ways to create clean drinking water, to generate clean and renewable energy, and to extend information access to the entire planet. Each book also includes cool facts about the real-life science found in the story, as well as a fun DIY project.
A humble house painter is sent a male penguin from the South Pole by the great Admiral Drake and, thanks to the arrival of a female penguin, soon has twelve penguins living in his house. Eventually, Mr. Popper and the penguins take an expedition to the North Pole.
Although only a small portion of the book takes place in Antarctica, this story was inspired by Admiral Richard Byrd's Antarctic expeditions, and Mr. Popper spends many of his days dreaming of Antarctica.
This Newbery Honor-winning classic children's novel was originally published in the 1930s, but it has stood the test of time and doesn't feel dated. The book is very different - and less juvenile - than the film by the same name.
This is book six in the Ripley's Bureau of Investigations series. The RBI is a group of teen agents with special gifts who work together to solve mysteries as they travel the world. The RBI team begins to link together the hidden clues they have found on their last few missions. The results point them towards Antarctica and an ancient ice station. However, terrible blizzards, floating ice, and a man who swims with the seals make their hunt for a lost artifact anything but easy!
Choose your own adventure... You are surrounded by the vast, unforgiving landscape of the coldest place on Earth. Even during the summer months, Antarctica is bone chillingly cold, with raging blizzards and treacherous ice that threatens human survival.
Join the race to be the first to reach the South Pole? Attempt to ski across the continent as part of an all-female expedition? Study Antarctic plant and animal life as a scientist at a research station? Experience the life or death dilemmas of a place few people ever see. YOU CHOOSE what you'll do next. The choices you make will either lead you to safety or to doom.
Equal parts adventure and STEM, this thrilling nonfiction book chronicles two groundbreaking expeditions to the South Pole - Captain Scott's 1910 journey and Captain Rudd's 2018 trek. This book includes eye-catching photos of the Antarctic landscape.
This book is filled with the true stories of 16 great explorers who journeyed to the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Coverage of the South Pole begins with Captain Cook in 1772; continues through the era of land grabbing and the race to reach the Pole with James Clark Ross, Roald Amundsen, Robert Scott, and Ernest Shackleton; and ends with an examination of the scientists at work there today.
The stories are accompanied by astounding photographs and journal entries, sidebars on animals, and engaging activities that bring the harrowing expeditions to life. Activities include making a cross staff to measure latitude, creating a barometer, making pemmican, and writing a newspaper. Through this book, the North and South Poles become exciting routes to learning about science, geography, and history.
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