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 Madeline’s Rescue.
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.
Henri's Walk to Paris - Henri’s Walk to Paris is the story of a young boy who lives in Reboul, France, who dreams of going to Paris. One day, after reading a book about Paris, he decides to pack a lunch and head for the city. “Like many of us Henri wants to see Paris. In Paris, there are thousands of buses. In Reboul, where Henri lives, there is only one bus. In Paris there are many parks and rows and rows of trees. The park in Reboul has only five trees. In Paris there are many zoos full of animals for the people to see. So one fine day Henri packs up some lunch and starts off to see all the things he had read about.” Along the way, Henri gets tired and falls asleep under a tree. And this is when the story gets really charming. What Henri sees, we see, in a flowing panorama of pictures conceived by the eminent graphic designer Saul Bass.
Madeline's Rescue - “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 even mice. 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! When Madeline falls into the river Seine and nearly drowns, a courageous canine comes to her rescue. Now Genevieve the dog is Madeline’s cherished pet, and the envy of all the other girls. What can be done when there’s just not enough hound to go around?
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.
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! - 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 - 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.
The Music of Life - Full of joy and discovery, Louis Thomas’ The Music of Life is a simple, melodious picture book about finding big inspiration and beauty in the smallest of details. At night when everyone else is asleep, one artist sits awake—pencil in hand, stuck. Lenny is a composer, but this evening, no music floats from his head. Then as night breaks into dawn, Lenny’s cat, Pipo, begins lapping milk. Lick lick lick. Birds yawn awake, singing in the trees. Tweet tweet! A bike bell tings on the street below. Suddenly, Lenny notices a rhythm to the world around him. He pulls on his coat and walks through the city to write down every sound he can find. Lenny listens to a gardener, a jogger, a dogwalker, and more neighborhood characters. Finally, the morning’s sounds culminate in a sun-dappled symphony that Lenny conducts in the center of the park.
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.
Ooh-la-la (Max in Love) - As he experiences Paris, the city of love, Max the millionaire poet dog knows he is missing something.
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!
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.
Madame Martine - 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 - An easy-to-read study of Alcatraz, “The Rock,” describes how America’s renowned prison housed some of the country’s most notorious criminals.
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.
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.
The Adventures of Henry Whiskers - 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.
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.
The Ring of Honor - 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 - 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!
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