Okay, I know they are for children, but children’s books are still fun to look at while you are reading them to the little ones. Even inspiring! The illustrations, however fanciful, create mental images of Paris that will have all of you recognizing landmarks at first sight.
Your children may also want to look at the guidebooks and picture books with you. (That is what I would have wanted to do.) But, they would probably be even more receptive to these books that are geared toward children and offer a simpler take on Paris that they may enjoy. These children’s books are a fun introduction to Paris.
by Ludwig Bemelmans
The illustrations will surely imprint Paris on the mind of anyone who reads it. Named a Caldecott Honor Book, this book was originally published in 1939. Loved by many and an enticing beginning to a series of books recounting Madeline’s adventures. (click image to order from Amazon)
Babar’s Guide to Paris
by Laurent de Brunhoff
Babar’s daughter goes to Paris and he shares advice on seeing the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, where to eat, how to take the Métro and even how apartment buildings work. Everyone who reads it will learn familiar sights in Paris long before the actual trip begins. (click image to order from Amazon)
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
by Brian Selznick
It is nearly impossible to believe the number of illustrations in this book. They tell a heart-warming and inspiring story that won a Caldecott Medal. This book inspired the movie, “Hugo.” Absolutely unbelievable book that children adore.
(click image to order from Amazon)
Eloise in Paris
by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight
Eloise leaves Manhattan and goes to Paris, with her turtle. The wonderful illustrations now show many Parisian sights from the Seine to the Arc de Triomphe and outdoor cafés in between. Eloise does it all – in style. (click image to order from Amazon)
A Walk in Paris
by Salvatore Rubbino
A young girl and her grandfather walk through Paris and discover many landmarks. It has a few French words, a few facts about Paris and the sites and enough detail in the illustrations to make them memorable (click image to order from Amazon)
Bonjour Paris Luggage Labels (Travel Stickers)
It is not a book, but these stickers look so fun. Any child (or adult) can put these on notebooks, the family Paris List and even on the suitcase or carry-on. FUN! (click image to order from Amazon
You may consider getting your children a small blank journal so each of them can write entries while in Paris. They can carry it with them during the day and jot down notes about what they see. Or, back at the hotel at night, they could make it a diary of daily activities. Possibly an entry each day for the most interesting thing they saw, the most beautiful thing they saw, favorite food of the day, what was the favorite activity of the day and so on.