Famous Places: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about famous places?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to famous places. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about famous places.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about famous places, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Madeline to popular sellers like The Invention of Hugo Cabret to some of our favorite hidden gems like This Bridge Will Not Be Gray.

We hope this list of kids books about famous places can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Madeline book
#1
Madeline
Written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines the smallest one was Madeline.”

Nothing frightens Madeline—not tigers, not mice, not even getting sick. With its endearing, courageous heroine, cheerful humor, and wonderful, whimsical drawings of Paris, the Madeline stories are true classics that continue to charm readers even after 75 years!

Let's Go, Hugo! book
#2
Let's Go, Hugo!
Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from The Goodfather

This fanciful tale of friendship and courage is terrific. The whimsical illustrations, the Paris setting, Hugo’s never ending excuses—it all combines to create a favorite around our home.

Hugo is a dapper little bird who adores the Eiffel Tower — or at least his view of it from down here. Hugo, you see, has never left the ground. So when he meets another bird, the determined Lulu, who invites him to fly with her to the top of the tower, Hugo stalls, persuading Lulu to see, on foot, every inch of the park in which he lives instead. Will a nighttime flying lesson from Bernard the Owl, some sweet and sensible encouragement from Lulu, and some extra pluck from Hugo himself finally give this bird the courage he needs to spread his wings and fly?

The Giraffe That Walked to Paris book
#3
The Giraffe That Walked to Paris
Written by Nancy Milton and illustrated by Roger Roth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is a true story of a Giraffe that walked to Paris! It is neat to read about this animal bringing two countries together. Very fun to learn the history through the beautiful illustrations.

Retells the true story of how the first giraffe ever to come to Europe was sent by the Pasha of Egypt to the King of France in 1826, and the giraffe walked from the disembarkation point of Marseilles to Paris to see the King.

Paris book
#4
Paris
Written and illustrated by Ashley Evanson
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is a darling book about Paris and some of the iconic landmarks in that great city. It shows the buildings made with different shapes. Very very cute.

Introducing Hello, World, an exciting new board book series that pairs early learning concepts with colorful, stylish illustrations of cities around the world.

Paris is a treasure trove of fascinating shapes: there are triangles at the Louvre Museum, rectangles at Notre-Dame Cathedral, arches at the Arc de Triomphe, and stars in a beautiful Parisian night sky. Explore shapes all over Paris in this gorgeous board book!

All Aboard Paris book
#5
All Aboard Paris
Written by Kevin Meyers and Haily Meyers and illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From the creators of BabyLit®: Every area of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. This new board book series written by the husband and wife team of Haily and Kevin Meyers and illustrated by Haily, celebrates the unique qualities of each city while employing a fun primer element to tell the story. These books will have you and baby seeing the world by train and will turn story time into a globetrotting event. Perfect as a souvenir or as part of a geography collection for brilliant babies, the All Aboard! series will be pulling into your station next!

  1. Al Capone Does My Shirts - A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards’ families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister Natalie. A Newbery Honor Book & ALA Notable Book. Reprint. Jr Lib Guild & Children’s BOMC.

  2. P Is for Paris - See the sights of Paris as never before! Award-winning illustrator Paul Thurlby takes us from A for Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, and some lesser known gems of Paris. Paired with snippets of useful information about each landmark, each page’s bold, eye-catching imagery is a visual treat for both kids and adults. Bursting with the sights, sounds, and energy of this unique and stunning city, this is a one-of-a-kind book for Paris lovers of all ages.

  3. Where Is Alcatraz? - The island of Alcatraz has always been a place that’s fascinated visitors, from the Native American tribes who believed it was home to evil spirits to the Spanish explorers who discovered the island. In modern times, it was a federal prison for only 29 years, but now draws over a million visitors each year. Learn the history of America’s most famous prison, from its initial construction as a fort in the 1800s, to its most famous residents such as Al Capone and “Machine Gun” Kelly. Where Is Alcatraz? also chronicles some of the most exciting escape attempts—even one that involved chipping through stone with spoons and constructing rafts out of raincoats!

  4. The Alcatraz Escape - Sleuthing duo Emily and James engage in a literary escape-room challenge on Alcatraz Island, but soon find that an invisible enemy is trying to sabotage the team at any cost.

Al Capone Throws Me a Curve book
#10
Al Capone Throws Me a Curve
Written and illustrated by Gennifer Choldenko
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Moose has his hands full during the summer of 1936 watching his autistic sister, Natalie, and the warden’s daughter, Piper, and trying to get on a baseball team by proving he knows Al Capone.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret book
#11
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Written by Brian Selznick
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

Al Capone Does My Homework book
#12
Al Capone Does My Homework
Written and illustrated by Gennifer Choldenko
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Alcatraz Island in the 1930s isn’t the most normal place to grow up, but it’s home for Moose Flanagan, his autistic sister, Natalie, and all the families of the guards. When Moose’s dad gets promoted to Associate Warden, despite being an unlikely candidate, it’s a big deal. But the cons have a point system for targeting prison employees, and his dad is now in serious danger. After a fire starts in the Flanagan’s apartment, Natalie is blamed, and Moose bands with the other kids to track down the possible arsonist. Then Moose gets a cryptic note from the notorious Al Capone himself. Is Capone trying to protect Moose’s dad too? If Moose can’t figure out what Capone’s note means, it may be too late.

Madame Martine book
#13
Madame Martine
Written and illustrated by Sarah S Brannen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Madame Martine lives in Paris and follows the same routine every day. She takes for granted the beautiful things that exist all around her. She refuses to go to the Eiffel Tower because it’s “just for tourists.” One day Madame Martine finds a stray dog and decides to take him home. When she tries keeping her dog on the same schedule, he breaks free, leading Madame Martine on a wild chase up the Eiffel Tower! Upon reaching the top, she discovers how much beauty she has been missing all these years. From then on, the two friends try something different every week.

Breakout! Escape from Alcatraz  book
#14
Breakout! Escape from Alcatraz
Written by Lori Haskins and illustrated by Janet Hamlin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An easy-to-read study of Alcatraz, “The Rock,” describes how America’s renowned prison housed some of the country’s most notorious criminals.

  1. Al Capone Does My Shoes - What do you do when your neighbors are a bunch of hit men, con men, and mad dog murderers? Well, if you’re Moose Flanagan, you ask the most notorious convict of them all, Al Capone, for help. But when that convict comes through for you-and then asks you for a favor in return-suddenly it’s a whole different ball game. Picking up where the Newbery-Honor winning Al Capone Does My Shirts left off, this lively second romp featuring Moose, his friends, and some of Alcatraz’s “finest” is just as satisfying as the first.

  2. A Con Artist in Paris (Book #15 of Hardy Boys Adventures) - Brother detectives Frank and Joe follow a crooked trail of artistic deception in the fifteenth book in the thrilling Hardy Boys Adventures series. The Hardy Boys are visiting Paris! Joe is excited to check out all the street art he’s heard about. And Frank can’t wait to go to all the museums he’s researched. On their very first day in the city, the brothers are woken up early in the morning by fireworks. But these are no ordinary fireworks. They are a part of elaborate cover for the heist of a priceless artifact. What’s worse, the theft seems to have been orchestrated by Joe’s favorite street artist, an unidentified outlaw and activist that goes only by the name Le Stylo. Everyone seems sure that it’s him, but the Hardys are suspicious. From everything they know about Le Stylo, the crime is out of character. Sure, he makes a habit of provoking the authorities, but he’s an activist; not a thief. Could the artist known for his mystique have been framed? Frank and Joe are determined to find out. A race to find the real thief has Frank and Joe following clues that lead them all over Paris, where they hobnob with rich art patrons, travel in a car that can only be described as a small Batmobile, and explore the extensive Catacombs under the city. Deep in the world of artistic deception, the boys have to wonder, are they in over their heads?

  3. A Lion in Paris - Bored by his rural life in the savannah, a lion seeks excitement and opportunity in the City of Light, where he is surprised that even his roaring does not cause a stir while visiting Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower and the busy underground Métro. By the award-winning creator of Bugs in a Blanket.

  4. A Whale in Paris - A hopeful and heroic girl befriends a small, lost whale during World War II and together they embark on a journey to liberate France and find their families in this charming debut novel.

Madeline and the Old House in Paris book
#19
Madeline and the Old House in Paris
Written and illustrated by John Bemelmans Marciano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Madeline and her favorite companion in mischief, Pepito, embark on their wildest adventure yet. When ghostly moans lead them to the attic of the old house in Paris, they discover Felix de La Morte, who has lingered there for hundreds of years, waiting for the return of a certain comet. With the comet due to return the very next day, the poor fellow’s telescope has been stolen by mean Lord Cucuface, and it is up to Madeline and Pepito to get it back. A nighttime trip across Paris, a midnight apparition, and all is happily resolved in time for the three new friends to view the comet on a starry night.

The Children of Alcatraz book
#20
The Children of Alcatraz
Written and illustrated by Claire Rudolf Murphy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Offers a look at the life of the children who grew up on this infamous island with their families throughout its long and diverse history as a military prison, maximum security prison, and site of a Native American uprising, enhanced with period photos, interviews, and first-hand accounts.

This Bridge Will Not Be Gray book
#21
This Bridge Will Not Be Gray
Written by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Tucker Nichols
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In this delightfully original take on nonfiction, bestselling author Dave Eggers tackles one of the most famous architectural and natural monuments in the world: the Golden Gate Bridge. Cut-paper illustrations by Tucker Nichols ensures that this book feels like a special object, and the revised edition includes real-life letters from constituents making the case for keeping the bridge orange. The narrative’s sly humor makes the topic perfectly accessible for kids enthusiastic about nonfiction. This one-of-a-kind book transports readers to the glorious Golden Gate, no matter where they live.

L Is for London book
#22
L Is for London
Written and illustrated by Paul Thurlby
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Discover the best of London from A to Z with award-winning illustrator Paul Thurlby! From A for Abbey Road, K for Kew Gardens, L for London Eye, T for Tower Bridge, to Z for London Zoo and more, this striking book is bursting with the sights, sounds, and energy of London! See familiar landmarks and discover the lesser known charms of the city. London has never been more spectacular!

Kiki & Coco in Paris book
#23
Kiki & Coco in Paris
Written by Stephanie Rausser and illustrated by Jess Brown and Nina Gruener
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Coco, a doll, describes the fun experiences she has with her human owner, Kiki, while visiting Paris, including a scary moment when Coco gets hurt after Kiki accidentally leaves her in a chair at a restaurant.

  1. Jane Foster's Cities: London - Introduce little ones to London in this bold and graphic board book by illustrator and textile designer Jane Foster. In this beautiful and sophisticated board book, children will be introduced to bold images of London, such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge, fish and chips, and more!

  2. Landmarks - Applying the tactile features of Montessori teaching, this innovative board book uses enhanced spot UV treatments to teach little ones about famous monuments from around the world, including the Eiffel Tower, The Statue of Liberty, and the Great Wall of China. One-of-a-kind colorful illustrations, sturdy board pages, and no moveable parts make this a unique addition to an early learning collection.

  3. Hello, Paris! - From bestselling author Christopher Franceschelli comes Hello, New York! and Hello, Paris!, board books about the most visited cities in the world. Each book opens with a simple map that puts all of the city sites in context before taking readers on a journey of the landmarks in each city. Playful die-cuts peek into windows and under bridges on each spread, culminating in an iconic gatefold at the end.

  4. Guitar Genius - This is the story of how Les Paul created the world’s first solid- body electric guitar, countless other inventions that changed modern music, and one truly epic career in rock and roll. How to make a microphone? A broomstick, a cinderblock, a telephone, a radio. How to make an electric guitar? A record player’s arm, a speaker, some tape. How to make a legendary inventor? A few tools, a lot of curiosity, and an endless faith in what is possible. Featuring richly detailed, dynamic illustrations by Brett Helquist, this unforgettable biography will resonate with inventive readers young and old.

Hello, New York! book
#28
Hello, New York!
Written by Christopher Franceschelli and illustrated by Géraldine Cosneau
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

From bestselling author Christopher Franceschelli comes Hello, New York! and Hello, Paris!, board books about the most visited cities in the world. Each book opens with a simple map that puts all of the city sites in context before taking readers on a journey of the landmarks in each city. Playful die-cuts peek into windows and under bridges on each spread, culminating in an iconic gatefold at the end.

Baby's First Eames book
#29
Baby's First Eames
Written by Julie Merberg and illustrated by Aki
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

This whimsically illustrated board book offers a delightful A-to-Z overview of modern design icons for the toddler set. Parents who appreciate architecture and modern design will get a kick out of sharing their passion with their kids. From Alexander Calder to Frank Lloyd Wright, from Knoll furniture to Noguchi sculptures, the visionaries, buildings, and captivating objects introduced in Baby’s First Eames make design fun and accessible for aesthetes of all ages.

How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to Visit the Statue of Liberty book
#30
How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to Visit the Statue of Liberty
Written by Nathan Zimelman and illustrated by Bill Slavin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Chronicles the triumphs and setbacks of the second grade as they try a variety of schemes to raise money for a trip to the Statue of Liberty.

Los Angeles Is . . . book
#31
Los Angeles Is . . .
Written by Elisa Parhad and illustrated by Alexander Vidal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Los Angeles is . . . surfing waves and fashion faves, citrus fruits and long commutes, lowrider cruising and poolside snoozing, zipping cars and Hollywood stars. From taco trucks to tar pits, this stylish primer to California’s City of Angels, illustrated by Alexander Vidal, is spot-on for toddlers and first-time travelers.

Above Chicago book
#32
Above Chicago
Written by Robert Cameron and illustrated by Nina Gruener and Robert Cameron
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

Cam explores Chicago from his plane, highlighting the city’s stadiums, parks, homes, and marinas.

  1. If I Were a Park Ranger - If you were a national park ranger, you’d spend every day in one of the most treasured places in America. You’d have an amazing job protecting animals, the environment, and our country’s natural and historical heritage, from the wilds of Denali to the Statue of Liberty!

  2. Escape from Alcatraz - What’s more exciting than a prison break? Frank Morris and John and Clarence Anglin escaped from Alcatraz in 1962 and have never been caught. Many authorities are certain they died crossing San Francisco Bay. Relatives claim they made it to Brazil. The theories of what happened to them are endless. Find out the facts from people who dealt with the men and the case first-hand. This is one mystery you’ll definitely want to solve.

  3. Above San Francisco - Join young Cam as he explores San Francisco from Above. His imagination affords him the flight of a lifetime as he takes off from his neighborhood of Painted Ladies and soars high above the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, the Transamerica Building, the constant and mysterious fog, crooked Lombard Street, the Ferry Building and more! The beloved photographs of Robert Cameron and his hometown of San Francisco take on a child-like wonder when viewed through the eyes of Cam.

  4. Adèle & Simon in America - When Adáele and Simon visit their Aunt Câecile in New York City, she takes them on a train trip around the United States, but from Boston to San Francisco to Washington, D.C., Simon keeps losing his belongings, despite his sister’s reminders. Includes facts about the places they visit.

Maze Book: Follow Me Around the World book
#37
Maze Book: Follow Me Around the World
Written by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

Follow Me Around the World is a finger maze adventure with colorful continent scenes and grooved maze trails to trace with fingertips. Follow Fox through seven exciting and colorful trail scenes that can be explored using fingertips to trace along the grooved mazes on the pages. In each busy scene there are recognizable sights to spot and charming animal characters to search for as you travel from continent to continent. The different winding mazes run from hole to hole throughout the book to a final map showing all the interesting places Fox has visited and the friends he has made along the way. A unique and beautiful book to explore with your child! Also available: Follow Me and Follow Me Halloween.

The Adventures of Henry Whiskers book
#38
The Adventures of Henry Whiskers
Written by Gigi Priebe and illustrated by Daniel Duncan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Henry Whiskers must face his fears and rescue his little sister from the scary Rat Alley in this fun, fast-paced debut chapter book set in Queen Mary’s historical dollhouse at Windsor Castle. Twenty-five generations of Whiskers have lived in Windsor Castle’s most famous exhibit: Queen Mary’s Dollhouse. For young, book-loving Henry Whiskers and his family, this is the perfect place to call home. But when the dollhouse undergoes unexpected repairs and Henry’s youngest sister, Isabel, goes missing, he risks everything in a whisker-whipping race against time to save her. His rescue mission will take him to the murky and scary world of Rat Alley, and Henry will have to dig deep and find the courage he never knew he had in order to bring his sister back home.

The Ring of Honor book
#39
The Ring of Honor
Written by Sarah L. Thomson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Middle school geniuses Sam, Martina, and Theo arrive in New York City on a mission. They’re after the third key left behind by the Founding Fathers. They’ve escaped the forests of Glacier National Park with the second key, but at great cost—Evangeline, their chaperone and friend, was captured by the nefarious and dangerous Gideon Arnold. Now they have to navigate New York City following clues related to Alexander Hamilton, solve (and survive) the puzzles and traps they encounter along the way, and find the third key before Gideon Arnold does. But the stakes have never been higher, and they might not all make it out alive . . . Another exciting adventure filled with clues, puzzles, and action that dives into the fascinating history behind the Founding Fathers and our country’s natural wonders.

Lady Liberty's Holiday book
#40
Lady Liberty's Holiday
Written by Jen Arena and illustrated by Matt Hunt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-7

The Statue of Liberty is feeling a little blue, despite being green. As much as she loves welcoming people to America, standing still for over a hundred years has left her with a stiff neck, aching arms, and a cramp in her leg. This lady could use a vacation!

Mr. Men: Road Trip! book
#41
Mr. Men: Road Trip!
Written by Adam Hargreaves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Hit the road with the Mr. Men Little Miss crew and get ready to laugh your way across the USA! The Mr. Men Little Miss crew is traveling across America on a road trip that has something for everyone, from Niagara Falls to the Grand Canyon to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. With visits to the biggest and most famous sights–like the Statue of Liberty, the Gateway Arch, and the Golden Gate Bridge–this team is sure to have an adventure anywhere they go!

  1. Snail Mail - A long, long time ago, before email and texting, the mail was delivered in a much slower way-it was called Snail Mail (because some thought it was delivered by a snail). Although it took much longer, everyone agreed that letters were a little more special when they were delivered by Snail Mail. They might be handwritten. They might include a drawing. They might even contain a surprise inside! One such letter was sent by a Girl to the Boy she loved, and it was up to four special snails to deliver her card across the country. The snails trek across the country-through desert heat and dangerous blizzards, across mountains and plains, through cities and forests-and along the way, they find that taking time to slow down and look around makes the journey all the more beautiful. Snail Mail’s playful and educational story encourages kids to have slow living, and to approach life with determination and wonder. Julia Patton’s rich illustrations showcase America’s diverse terrain and national monuments from coast to coast. Kids and parents alike will delight in this celebration of America’s beauty and the power of a simple handwritten letter.

  2. Kiki and Coco's Guide to Paris - Quelle chance! You’re off to Paris, the City of Light! Bring your own doll and follow along in Kiki and Coco’s footsteps, as you learn to speak un peu le Franais, dress and eat like a Parisian, and record your experiences in this petite, paperback keepsake, complete with fun facts, activities, and a pocket in the back, sure to become your most treasured souvenir.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!