Our favourite children’s books about New York City

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Every time we go somewhere new we strive to learn about the destination through books.  It’s one of our favourite ways of world schooling!  These are some of our favourite books about New York City for kids.  (See here my other book guides for kids)

Picture books about NYC

Most of theses picture books are way more than just basic stories and pictures – they’d be suitable for all ages of young children, not just toddlers!  They are a mix between fun stories, books that show the area and others that tell stories about the history and past of NYC.

This is New York

The classic series of books seems to turn up in all my collections!  This was in our apartment on our first night in New York and even as an adult I loved reading through it and seeing the famous streets illustrated.  Of course things change and there is always an addendum at the end of the book to update it slightly.  Perfect for all ages!

Click to see on Amazon here


A walk in New York

Again this is part of a series and I featured it in my London guide.  It’s a perfect book to show some of the sights to little ones before you get there so that they’ll have some idea of what to look for.

See this book on Amazon.



This is a classic children’s book set in NYC and it’s loved equally by adults!  Eloise lives in the Plaza hotel which is just at the corner of Central Park and is quite a character!

See more about this book on Amazon


Balloons over broadway

This is a picture book based on the true story of the person behind the famous Macy’s Parade in New York at Thanksgiving.  If you’ve ever wondered how the event got started and who was behind it, this book is for you.  It’s nicely illustrated and I’d say for slightly older children as it has lots of details in it.

See more about it on Amazon


The man who walked between the towers

Even the cover of this book makes me feel all funny!  I can’t imagine how it must have felt to do it!

This is the story of a frenchman named Philippe Petit who one day set up a high wire between the twin towers in NYC as they were finishing being built and proceeded to walk across performing tricks as he went!  Sounds crazy but was actually a true story!

You can see more about this book on Amazon


Twenty One Elephants and Still Standing

This is a wonderful story and one I didn’t know was true!  When the Brookyn Bridge was built there was some concern about ow strong it was and how long it would last.  So a show was put on and 21 elephants went across to show its strength!  Told in a lovely way this is a great book for learning the history of the bridge.

See this book on Amazon


The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge

I remember reading this with my kids and it was a definite favourite of ours.  We really wished we could have gone to see it in real life on our recent trip but afraid it wasn’t to be.  Next time perhaps!

This book tells the story of a little lighthouse who thinks he’ll not be needed once the big bridge is built over him until one day when he gets his chance to shine!

See this book on Amazon


The Story of the Statue of Liberty

This is a beautifully illustrated book about the Statue of Liberty and the story behind it.  It would be a perfect accompaniment to a trip to see the statue up close and to learn more about it.  It’s suitable for young kids and older.

See this book on Amazon


Non Fiction children’s books about New York City

Not for Parents New York

This is a great book for older kids who thrive on learning snippets of information and facts about a place.  Told in a fun way this talks about lots of different aspects of the city from the stock market to the transport options.

You can see more about this book on Amazon


New York City Children’s map

This is a great map just for kids covering mostly Manhattan.  It’s a great way to get kids involved in planning routes, where you’re going and how to get there.

You can see it on Amazon here


Kids chapter books set in New York City

I feel there should definitely be a few more books in this category so I shall get looking to see what else comes up.  Here’s two that we’ve enjoyed:

Stuart Little

Stuart Little is the tale of a small mouse who lives with his human family in New York City.  If you’re familiar with the movie that was based on the books you’ll know all about it.

We found it a little hard to read sometimes as it’s quite an old fashioned tale, but ultimately enjoyed it.  It’s suitable from about ages 9+

Buy this book on Amazon here


Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief

My daughter absolutely loved this set of books and read them when she was about 11.  The first book has many of the main scenes set all around the US and Mount Olympus was actually the Empire State building in NYC and was one of the things my daughter was most excited about seeing when we got there.

Highly recommended series and can inspire a love of greek myths too!

Check out the book on Amazon here

Photo of author

Kirsty Bartholomew

Kirsty has been getting lost around the world for over 30 years and writing about it for 10 of those. She loves to explore the UK and Europe and has a particular penchant for historical sites.

2 thoughts on “Our favourite children’s books about New York City”

  1. We’re also a book loving family and you’ve nailed it here. Simple books like this are all you need to educate when they are tiny. Ditto with the Percy Jacksons, the boys ADORED them. Those books are responsible for our trip to Greece a couple of months back, where the kids filled in all MY knowledge gaps on Ancient history.

  2. I am better now, but I used to be just obsessed with buying nice picture books for the kids!! This is why I have so many ideas!!

    Greece is still on our minds!


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