Best Children's Books About New york

The 31 Best Books About New York You Will Ever Read

Updated Mar. 26, 2019

New York is a magical place. There is a feeling of determination in the air. Now you will be able to share this with your children whether they are newborn or reading chapter books on their own. We hope you enjoy the enthusiasm you'll find here as much as we do.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler book
#1
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Written by E.L. Konigsburg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from The Goodfather

I have fond memories of this book from my own elementary days and look forward to sharing it with my own kids. The setting of the story in New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art makes it especially attractive to any readers who love the city.

Having run away with her younger brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twelve-year-old Claudia strives to keep things in order in their new home and to become a changed person and a heroine to herself.

Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing book
#2
Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing
Written by April Jones Prince and illustrated by Francois Roca
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Thoughts from The Goodfather

This story memorably presents such an inspiring moment in the history of the Brooklyn Bridge. It also touches on the general history of the bridge. The soft illustration style helps create the memorable and inspiring feel of the story. This is a great book about New York City!

After fourteen years of construction, the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, much to the delight of the sister cities it connected: Brooklyn and New York City. Fireworks and top hats filled the air in celebration when the magnificent bridge opened in 1883. But some wondered just how much weight the new bridge could hold. Was it truly safe? One man seized the opportunity to show people in Brooklyn, New York and the world that the Brooklyn Bridge was in fact strong enough to hold even the heaviest of passengers. P. T. Barnum, creator of “The Greatest Show on Earth,” would present a show too big for the Big Top and too wondrous to forget.

Balloons Over Broadway book
#3
Balloons Over Broadway
Written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Presents a tribute to the creator of the giant balloons that fill the sky during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, tracing the work of artist Tony Sarg, whose innovative "upside-down puppet" creations have become the parade's trademark.

Her Right Foot book
#4
Her Right Foot
Written by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Shawn Harris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this book about the statue of liberty! The illustrations are completely gorgeous, and the book is fact-filled and full of great vocabulary. While some of the words might go over the heads of little ones, I really like the diction choice to help introduce new words. The story tells a lot of the history and meaning behind the statue, and I learned a lot of new things from this book, myself. The story starts with the history of the statue, moves towards more facts and details about the building of the statue, and ends with what the statue represents about freedom, liberty, and immigration.

If you had to name a statue, any statue, odds are good you'd mention the Statue of Liberty. Have you seen her? She's in New York. She's holding a torch. And she's taking one step forward. But why? In this fascinating, fun take on nonfiction, uniquely American in its frank tone and honest look at the literal foundation of our country, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America's most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty's right foot is the powerful message of acceptance that is essential to an entire country's creation. Can you believe that?

Good Night New York City book
#5
Good Night New York City
Written by Adam Gamble and illustrated by Joe Veno
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is definitely a favorite of ours. It is fun to flip through these pages of famous destinations throughout the city and remember our time in the city. All who have been or want to go to New York City will love this short and sweet book of a day in the hustle and bustle.

Easy-to-read text introduces the sights of New York City through a full day of sightseeing.

Larry Gets Lost in New York City book
#6
Larry Gets Lost in New York City
Written by John Skewes and illustrated by Michael Mullin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Follow Larry as he ping-pongs around the city, hitting all five boroughs in a day, and the places and things that make New York City what it is: hot dogs, Times Square, Wall Street, Radio City Music Hall, Coney Island, Madison Square Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Greenwich Village, and Central Park, among others.

Little Elliot, Big City book
#7
Little Elliot, Big City
Written and illustrated by Mike Curato
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This book has beautiful illustrations. It is very fun as it is set in New York City. The story is darling about a little elephant that feels small until he finds someone even smaller than himself that he can help. It turns the story around to show how helping others and friendship can make our life meaningful.

Elliot the little elephant has a hard time with a lot of things in the city he loves until he meets Mouse, who is even smaller--and hungrier.

Blackout book
#8
Blackout
Written and illustrated by John Rocco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When a busy family's activities come to a halt because of a blackout, they find they enjoy spending time together and not being too busy for once.

This is New York book
#9
This is New York
Written and illustrated by Miroslav Sasek
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A pictorial tour of Manhattan's neighborhoods, transportation and traffic, buildings, and the city's activities, from the local shoeshine stall to Wall Street.

My Little Cities: New York book
#10
My Little Cities: New York
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In this delightful series written by BabyLit author Jennifer Adams and illustrated by kidlit darling Greg Pizzoli, each book showcases a different city with lighthearted baby-appropriate text and ridiculously charming illustrations. Take a whirlwind tour of the Big Apple: cheer with the roaring crowds at Yankee Stadium, chug along peacefully on the Staten Island Ferry, wonder at the bright lights of Times Square, and say good night to the famous New York City skyline.

The Secret Subway book
#11
The Secret Subway
Written by Shana Corey and illustrated by Red Nose Studio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"New York City in the 1860s was a mess- crowded, disgusting, filled with garbage. You see, way back in 1860, there were no subways, just cobblestone streets. That is, until Alfred Ely Beach had the idea for a fan-powered train that would travel underground. On February 26, 1870, after fifty-eight days of drilling and painting and plastering, Beach unveiled his masterpiece-and throngs of visitors took turns swooshing down the track. The Secret Subwaywill wow readers, just as Beach's underground train wowed riders over a century ago."

Red and Lulu book
#12
Red and Lulu
Written and illustrated by Matt Tavares
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Separation and miles cannot keep a determined cardinal from his loved one in this heart-tugging story combining the cheer of Christmas, the magic of New York City, and the real meaning of the holiday season: how important it is to be surrounded by love. Full color.

Up in the Leaves book
#13
Up in the Leaves
Written by Shira Boss and illustrated by Jamey Christoph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Bob does not like the noisy, crowded streets and school hallways of his New York City home, so he decides to build a tree house in the cool, green calm of Central Park. Includes a note about the real Bob Redman.

Knuffle Bunny book
#14
Knuffle Bunny
Written and illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat. But the exciting adventure takes a dramatic turn when Trixie realizes somebunny was left behind? Using a combination of muted black-and-white photographs and expressive illustrations, this stunning book tells a brilliantly true-to-life tale about what happens when Daddy's in charge and things go terribly, hilariously wrong.

Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! book
#15
Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee!
Written by Andrea J Loney and illustrated by Keith Mallett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

James Van Der Zee was just a young boy when he saved enough money to buy his first camera. He took photos of his family, classmates, and anyone who would sit still for a portrait. By the fifth grade, James was the school photographer and unofficial town photographer. Eventually he outgrew his small town and moved to the exciting, fast-paced world of New York City. After being told by his boss that no one would want his or her photo taken -by a black man, - James opened his own portrait studio in Harlem. He took photographs of legendary figures of the Harlem Renaissance--politicians such as Marcus Garvey, performers including Florence Mills, Bill -Bojangles- Robinson, and Mamie Smith--and ordinary folks in the neighborhood too. Everyone wanted fancy portraits by James Van Der Zee. Winner of Lee & Low's New Voices Award, Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! tells the story of a groundbreaking artist who chronicled an important era in Harlem and showed the beauty and pride of its people.

In the Night Kitchen book
#16
In the Night Kitchen
Written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

From the acclaimed author-artist Maurice Sendak comes a Caldecott Honor-winning tale of a fantastical dream world. This comic fantasy will delight readers of all ages with playful illustrations and an imaginative world only Sendak could create. In the Night Kitchen is the classic story of Mickey's adventures in the bakers’ kitchen as they prepare our morning cake. "Milk in the batter! Milk in the batter! We bake cake and nothing’s the matter!" the bakers sing. The bakers in the night kitchen need more milk for their batter, but then Mickey falls into the cake! They decide to put him in the oven anyway, but Mickey has different plans. He escapes in a plane made of bread dough and helps the bakers find the milk at last.

Old Manhattan Has Some Farms book
#17
Old Manhattan Has Some Farms
Written by Susan Lendroth and illustrated by Kate Endle
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A clever new spin on “Old MacDonald,” this fun book explores the popular trend of urban farming. From rooftop farms and gardens on Manhattan high rises to neighborhood gardens in empty lots in Atlanta to hydroponic gardens in Seattle, growing food locally has become an important part of city-dwelling life. Set to the tune of the popular children’s song, this bouncy rhyming text will get everyone reading (or singing) out loud. If you’re not comfortable singing aloud, download the free recording of the song created by popular children’s performer Caspar Babypants (aka Chris Ballew, lead singer and songwriter for the band The Presidents of the United States of America). Six North American cities are highlighted, but included in the back matter are tips and tricks on how to alter the text so you can sing about your own hometown gardens. Back matter also includes more information about the different types of gardens introduced, additional resources, and the sheet music for the song.

New York Baby book
#18
New York Baby
Written by Puck and illustrated by Violet Lemay
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A fast-paced tour of the Big Apple from the viewpoint of local babies showcases where they live and play while introducing famed attractions and iconic landmarks. By the author of the Cool Counting Books series.

How Pizza Came to Queens book
#19
How Pizza Came to Queens
Written and illustrated by Dayal Kaur Khalsa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

An Italian visitor to Queens bemoans the unavailability of pizza until some thoughtful girls enable her to make some.

Pop-up New York book
#20
Pop-up New York
Written and illustrated by Andy Mansfield
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Make the city come alive with this bold and beautiful series of pop-up books from Lonely Planet Kids. Classic icons meet modern must-sees in this stunning trip around the city. Gorgeous illustration and clever paper engineering make this the perfect introduction to the wows of New York for any age.

123 New York book
#21
123 New York
Written by Puck and illustrated by Kevin Somers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Making basic numbers fun to learn, this board book has the young reader count from 1 to 10 using some of New York's most famous symbols. The Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, apples, subway cars, yellow taxis, and more are all depicted here using beautiful illustrations, vivid colors, and detailed design. The book also includes a complete bilingual location list in both English and Spanish.

Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures #15: Lost in New York book
#22
Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures #15: Lost in New York
Written by Jeff Brown and illustrated by Macky Pamintuan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Flat Stanley and his family are on another adventure in this fifteenth book in the renowned Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures series. This time, the Lambchops are visiting the Big Apple! Stanley Lambchop has been invited to New York City to take part in an International Declaration of Friendship at the United Nations! But before anyone signs the declaration, the group goes on a whirlwind tour of New York City. What should be an adventure quickly turns scary when Stanley and his new friend Ian get separated from their group. But Stanley and Ian manage to find the fun in their situation, traveling around Manhattan: through the subway, across Times Square, and—finally—to the top of the Empire State Building. But at the end of the day, Stanley and Ian are still on the search to find their families and friends before it’s time to sign the Declaration of Friendship. Will they meet up with their group before it’s too late? And for parents and teachers, each Flat Stanley book is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, like multicultural adventure, plot and character development story elements, and compare and contrast.

Nova in New York book
#23
Nova in New York
Written and illustrated by Katherine Richards
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Seventeen-year-old Nova Abbott grew up dancing barefoot in the backyard with her aunt Ivy, whose dreams of becoming a professional ballerina were cut short by cystic fibrosis. Nova is invited to attend a prestigious ballet school’s summer intensive program. She is a bit overwhelmed by New York City: the bustle of people, the talent of the other dancers, the demands of the instructors and being separated from her beloved aunt, whose health is deteriorating rapidly. With a coveted apprenticeship up for grabs, Nova isn’t sure she’ll make it in the big leagues, and now she’s not even sure she wants to.

Hello, New York! book
#24
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.

Freddie Ramos Rules New York book
#25
Freddie Ramos Rules New York
Written by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Miguel Benitez
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Freddie and his mom are visiting Uncle Jorge in New York City! Just before they leave, Mr. Vaslov gives Freddie a new pair of zapatos to replace the ones that were getting too small. But Freddie worries if his new zapatos will work as well as his old ones. Will Freddie be able to save the day when Uncle Jorge misplaces an engagement ring in the middle of a New York City traffic jam?

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.