Exploring Paris: Picture book travel (guest post by Storied Cities)

Storied Cities features “reviews of decidedly urban illustrated and chapter books for children”, including a recent series featuring books set in or about Paris. I enjoyed the series so much that I emailed Erica asking if she would be willing to guest post as part of my Exploring Geography series. I’m so glad she agreed!

Many of us long to take our children to far away places but instead of the real thing must settle back for a bit of arm-chair traveling instead. Or maybe you are lucky enough to be actually planning a trip to Paris (I’ll try not to be jealous) and want to preview your destination with a bit of help from a few picture books.

Either way, if Paris is your virtual or real destination, there are several types of books with which to begin your journey. The first kind is a book which gets right to business, introducing you to major landmarks and describing cultural traditions. If this is what you are looking for try: The Inside-Outside Book of  Paris or This is Paris.
The Inside-Outside Book of ParisThis is Paris
Another way to travel is to choose a book which has a story line but the illustrations still take you on a deliberate tour of Paris. These books generally include maps in the end pages, and author’s notes which give further information. If this is what you are looking for try: Crepes by Suzette or Adele and Simon (my favorite).  Everybody Bonjours! also fits into this category and is geared toward toddlers and preschoolers.
Crepes by SuzetteAdèle & SimonEverybody Bonjours!   [EVERYBODY BONJOURS] [Hardcover]

Finally, if you want books in which Paris just happens to be the backdrop, but there is no overt attempt to indoctrinate you into Paris’ landmarked glories you might try: Oops!, Come Fly With Me or Squiggle’s Tale, which is a darling story set in the Luxembourg Gardens. I also highly recommend reading the 1959 Newbery Honor Book, The Family Under the Bridge. It’s a chapter book suitable as a read aloud for ages 5 and up.

Oops!Squiggle's TaleCome Fly With MeThe Family under the Bridge

Of course there are still more wonderful books set in Paris, and I haven’t even mentioned the obvious choice of Madeline or Eloise in Paris. And if, indeed a “Paris Staycation” is what you are after, you can visit my “Books Set in Paris” page over at Storied Cities to learn more about these books, or find a few more.

Bon Voyage!

exploring geography at mama smiles

Exploring Geography is a new weekly feature on this blog, showcasing cities, states, and countries in a child-friendly manner. Email mamasmilesblog at gmail dot com if you are interested in contributing.

I’ll be sharing this post No Time For Flashcard’s Link & Learn as well as Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn and Book Sharing Monday at Smiling Like Sunshine.

Comments

  1. says

    I have never been to Paris…but I would love to take my kids are on a trip there…from our house..these books are great recommendations!

  2. says

    This is a wonderful post Mary Anne! I look forward to each of these on your blog. I have never heard of any of these books, so thank you to Storied Cities for this wonderfully resourceful post!

  3. says

    My daughter’s best friend is French so she is very interested in all things French ;) Thanks for sharing these beautiful books.I’d love it if you linked up to Book Sharing Monday on my blog :)

  4. says

    Great choice of books for getting to learn something about Paris! I know that it’s a city people dream of but, having lived there for more than 13 years, I know that the every day reality is a little bit different like in any too big city! Anyway, to keep on dreaming, try this reading aloud I made on my website http://atelierstorytime.com/2013/06/03/its-french-storytime/. It’s a story of a lion going to Paris; the statue the book talks about at the end really exists in Paris, in place Danfert Rochereau.
    Michela

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