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Paris: Books For Kids

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

“In an old house in Paris That was covered in vines Lived twelve little girls In two straight lines.”

Nothing captures the charm and beauty of the City of Lights like children’s books. From board books to chapter books, Paris has been the setting of some wonderful tales, like The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and some iconic figures, like Madeline. As always, our list includes these classics, as well as some hidden gems we’ve discovered, like one of our favorites, Let’s Go, Hugo!

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Madeline
Written & 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!

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Let's Go, Hugo!
Written & illustrated by Angela Dominguez
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.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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?

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The Giraffe That Walked to Paris
Written by Nancy Milton & illustrated by Roger Roth
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.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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Paris
Written & illustrated by Ashley Evanson
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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!

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Hello, Paris!
Written by Christopher Franceschelli & 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.

All Aboard Paris book
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P Is for Paris book
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The Invention of Hugo Cabret book
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Madame Martine book
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  • All Aboard Paris - 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!

  • 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.

  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret - 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.

  • 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.

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A Con Artist in Paris (Book #15 of Hardy Boys Adventures)
Written by Franklin W. Dixon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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?

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A Lion in Paris
Written & illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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A Whale in Paris
Written by Daniel Presley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

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.

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Madeline and the Old House in Paris
Written & 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.

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Kiki & Coco in Paris
Written by Stephanie Rausser & illustrated by Nina Gruener and Jess Brown
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.

Henri's Walk to Paris book
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Madeline's Rescue book
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Piglette book
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Portrait in Poems: The Storied Life of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas book
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  • 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?

  • Piglette - Will a pristine piglet find perfection in Paris? Piglette can be a bit particular by her siblings’ standards. She always wants everything to be perfect. While her many brothers and sisters like rolling in the mud, Piglette prefers pampering in a mud bath. While her siblings eat slop, Piglette prefers pastries. But what she’s most passionate about is flowers. She loves to smell the lilies and lilacs in the pasture. So Piglette decides her precise nose is destined for the perfume shops of Paris! But Piglette soon realizes that there’s nothing more precious than the pleasant scents of home, and she finds a way to bring a little Parisian perfection back where she belongs. Debut author Kateyln Aronson and #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Eva Byrne have created an unforgettable, playful piglet who stays true to herself and the message that home is where the heart is.

  • Portrait in Poems: The Storied Life of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas - Here’s an insider’s tour of the fascinating lives of Gertrude Stein and her partner, Alice B. Toklas, amusingly addressed directly to the reader (“The next time you go to Paris …”). It explores the couple’s art collection, their famous writer and artist friends and even their dog, Basket. It also describes how Gertrude’s book The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas was not about Alice, but was more about Gertrude herself! A celebration of creativity and the creative process, this original and very readable picture book biography champions two women who dared to live unconventional lives. In playful free verse, author Evie Robillard offers a unique introduction to one of the most influential figures of twentieth-century art and literature. It includes twelve child-friendly quotations from Stein’s work, such as: “It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.” Illustrator Rachel Katstaller’s fun yet detailed art delightfully evokes the time and place of the text. Touching on literature, history, writing and the visual arts, this biography offers loads of direct curriculum applications. Back matter includes a time line, “snapshots,” sources and an author’s note with further background.

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The Music of Life
Written & illustrated by Louis Thomas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

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Ooh-la-la (Max in Love)
Written & illustrated by Maira Kalman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

As he experiences Paris, the city of love, Max the millionaire poet dog knows he is missing something.

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Odette: A Bird in Paris
Written by Kay Fender and Philippe Dumas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

An old man who plays an accordion in the subway befriends a young bird.

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Poppy Takes Paris: A Little Girl's Adventures in the City of Light (Big City Adventures)
Written by Allison Pataki and Marya Myers & illustrated by Kristi Valiant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the City of Lights, where can you go to find the brightest light of them all? Find out in this spunky introduction to Paris shown through the eyes of a curious child.

Paris is the City of Lights. Poppy should know—she lives there.

Each morning, she wakes up to the sound of church bells ringing Ding! Dang! Dong! Each morning, she buys fresh flowers from Madame LesFleur, who has the most brilliant blooms in the city. Each morning, she eats delicious pastries from Monsier LePain’s bakery.

But one morning, she wakes up with a burning question: what light shines the brightest in a city full of them? She and her dog Baguette are about to find out.

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Rooftoppers
Written by Katherine Rundell & illustrated by Terry Fan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When authorities threaten to take Sophie, twelve, from Charles who has been her guardian since she was one and both survived a shipwreck, the pair goes to Paris to try to find Sophie’s mother, and they are aided by Matteo and his band of “rooftoppers.”

Madeline and the Bad Hat book
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Could You Escape the Paris Catacombs? book
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I, Crocodile book
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Madame Martine Breaks the Rules book
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  • Madeline and the Bad Hat - “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. In this next adventure, Madeline has a new neighbor who she does not like so much. Can she and Pepito ever get along? When the Spanish ambassador moves in next door, Madeline and the rest of the twelve little girls discover that his son is not the best neighbor.

  • Could You Escape the Paris Catacombs? - Could you escape the Paris Catacombs? You became the hero of your own adventure the moment you stepped underground. Will you escape the skeletal maze, or be trapped with the ghosts of France forever?

  • I, Crocodile - While robbing Egypt’s mummies, sphinxes, and palm trees, Napoleon can’t resist bringing home a souvenir crocodile as well. All Paris is enchanted with this exotic creature. But for a crocodile with an appetite as big as his ego, being the toast of the town has its downside, too. What’s a crocodile who’s used to a dinner of flamingo, snake, or mongoose to make of chocolate mousse? Oh, to return to his beloved Nile! But fickle Napoleon has other plans for our hero… Inspired by an obscure nineteenth-century French satire, I, Crocodile is the first book Fred Marcellino has written as well as illustrated. 2000 ALA Notable Children’s Book 1999 New York Times Best Illustrated Book 2000-2001 Georgia’s Picture Storybook Award & Georgia’s Children’s Book Award Masterlist 2000 ALA Notable Children’s Books

  • Madame Martine Breaks the Rules - Madame Martine’s friend Louis works at the Louvre Museum. When he suggests Madame Martine and her dog Max come visit him and see the works of art, Madame declines his invitation—she knows dogs are not allowed at the museum. But Max has a different plan! He sneaks into the Louvre and sends Madame and Louis on a chase around some of the world’s most beautiful works of art.

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Madeline’s Tea Party
Written & illustrated by John Bemelmans Marciano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-7

In this story, Madeline hosts a fabulously dainty tea party. Her naughty friend Pepito makes an appearance as well, and havoc ensues! This easy-to-read book is written in rhyme, and there are full-color illustrations throughout in the same charming style as the original Madeline books.

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Sylvia's Bookshop
Written by Robert Burleigh & illustrated by Katy Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet the trailblazer and book lover who started the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, France, in this beautifully illustrated picture book that celebrates stories, reading, and the importance of sharing ideas. “Books are my treasures—the best that I’ve got.” Books are like rivers that flow through my head. Books are like roads,” she just might have said. “Roads that connect my old self to my new. Unlocking our hearts to what’s noble and true.” Told by the bookstore itself, Sylvia’s Bookshop tells the story of the legendary Shakespeare and Company, its owner Sylvia Beach, and the many great writers who gathered there to meet, read, and remind us that books are more than the words on the page.

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Muppets Meet the Classics: the Phantom of the Opera
Written & illustrated by Erik Forrest Jackson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Leroux’s classic tale of love, intrigue, and jealousy at the Paris Opera House is reimagined with the cast of the Muppets. Readers can join Kermit, Miss Piggy, Uncle Deadly, and the other Muppets as they bring this gripping tale to life in their own hilarious way.

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Kiki and Coco's Guide to Paris
Written by Nina Gruener & illustrated by Stephanie Rausser and Jess Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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