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Paris: Books For Kids

"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!

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!

Hello, Paris! book
#5
Hello, Paris!
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.

All Aboard Paris book
#6
All Aboard Paris
Written by Kevin Meyers, 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!

P Is for Paris book
#7
P Is for Paris
Written and illustrated by Paul Thurlby
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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 book
#8
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.

Madame Martine book
#9
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.

A Con Artist in Paris book
#10
A Con Artist in Paris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

While in Paris, France, Frank and Joe Hardy witness an elaborate fireworks display that was set off to conceal the theft of a priceless artifact.

A Lion in Paris book
#11
A Lion in Paris
Written and 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.

A Whale in Paris book
#12
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.

Madeline and the Old House in Paris book
#13
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.

Kiki & Coco in Paris book
#14
Kiki & Coco in Paris
Written by Stephanie Rausser and illustrated by Jess Brown, 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.

Kiki and Coco's Guide to Paris book
#15
Kiki and Coco's Guide to Paris
Written by Nina Gruener and illustrated by Jess Brown, Stephanie Rausser
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.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!