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

What Do We Do All Day often  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 World Culture for Kids series. I’m so glad she agreed with this fun post featuring some of her favorite picture books about Paris!

Picture Books About Paris

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.

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, Adèle & Simon (my favorite). Everybody Bonjours! also fits into this category and is geared toward toddlers and preschoolers.

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.

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 to learn more about these books, or find a few more.

Bon Voyage!

World Culture for Kids 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.

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

14 thoughts on “Exploring Paris: Picture book travel (guest post by Storied Cities)”

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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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