Our 6 Favorite Picture Books about Paris

becca-garber-favorite-picture-books-paris In honor of our trip to Paris one year ago, I decided to share with you a few of our favorite picture books that take place in Paris!

We already love and own two classic picture books about Paris — Madeline and Mirette on the High Wire. These will always be my first loves, and they rise above any others as enduring classics. Do you know and love them as well?

These new favorites pictured above, though, all come from this extensive list that my friend Becca shared with me a few months ago. I found most of them at my local library. Some weren’t that great, in my opinion, like this one — I just can’t love this character, try as I might, and the book was a headache to read aloud.

But these six are our new favorites. They, along with Madeline and Mirette, are the crรจme de la crรจme, as they say!

*****

EVERYBODY BONJOURS

by Leslie Kimmelman

A cheerful book without many words, this is great for teaching children how to say hello in French. A young girl travels throughout Paris — to a patisserie, a soccer game, the Eiffel Tower — and everyone says “bonjour!” wherever she goes. Helpful for teaching children — and adults! — that greeting with a bonjour is essential before any interaction in France. I wish I’d read this before we visited.

*****

ANATOLE

Eve Titus

“Anatole is a most honorable mouse.” This beautifully illustrated Caldecott Honor book is the story of a mouse who decides to earn food for his family in an honest way, so he sneaks into a cheese factory, tastes all the cheeses, and leaves little notes on them indicating “good,” “not so good,” “needs orange peel,” and so on. The cheesemakers love his advice, but they cannot imagine who this connoisseur could be…

*****

LET’S GO, HUGO!

Angela Dominguez

This is a sweet and simple book, and not super Parisian, but Lena really enjoyed it, so I’m putting it on the list. Hugo is a dapper bird who loves his city, but he only loves it from the ground — because he refuses to fly. Then he meets a lovely little bird named Lulu who convinces him to spread his wings. How long can he keep her on the ground? Will he ever learn to fly?

*****

THE INCREDIBLE PAINTING OF FELIX CLOUSSEAU

Jon Agee

Once again, I was not as big a fan, but Lena requested it over and over, so what do I know?! Felix Clousseau is an odd old painter, and no one paid him any mind — until his paintings come alive and volcanoes start erupting and ducks start quacking in them. This is all a nuisance, and his paintings are confiscated. All except one. Will that painting save the crown and make Clousseau a hero? I’ll give you one guess. ;)

*****

ADELE & SIMON

Barbara McClintock

Adele and Simon are a brother and sister walking home from school in Paris who see their friends and the sights of Paris along the way. Simon, however, has his hands full of books and crayons and binoculars, and he can’t seem to keep track of them. He loses something on every page! Can you find them for him? The illustrations are beautiful, and both Lena and I loved this book. I also recommend Adele & Simon in America.

*****

THIS IS PARIS

Miroslav Sasek

What a wonderful book! If you are planning a trip to Paris, this is essential reading — and it would make a charming gift for an adult, too. The author writes the book to you, the reader, with wonderful pictures of everything you will see and do in Paris. The illustrations are gorgeous, the writing is tongue-in-cheek, and the whole book is fresh and delightful, even though it was written in the 1960s. Check out the rest of Sasek’s travel series as well.

*****

Now, even as I put together this post I came across more picture books set in Paris that I haven’t even heard of yet. We even have one in our house right now — The Tooth Mouse — that takes place in Notre Dame and is just wonderful.

Do you have any favorite picture books that are set in Paris? We’d love to hear!

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16 Responses to Our 6 Favorite Picture Books about Paris

  1. Di April 17, 2015 at 9:31 am #

    Lovely books – I have This is Venice and I love the illustrations. Have you read Mr Leon’s Paris by Barroux – it is beautifully illustrated….I saw it at an exhibition on children’s illustration at the National Gallery of Scotland a couple of years ago – or Eloise in Paris?

    • Becca April 17, 2015 at 10:43 pm #

      I have heard of “Mr Leon’s Paris” but unfortunately neither of my local library branches has it. Such a bummer! I might have to order it instead. It does look lovely!

  2. Abi April 17, 2015 at 11:36 am #

    Bonjour mon amie! Did you write this post for me??? I love it! I haven’t heard of any of these books, except Anatole, which we have at home and Lucie and I were reading last night, actually. We made it almost all the way through and then she just shut it all of the sudden and said “This one’s all done, mom!” I think she’s still better with slightly simpler books.
    One question- do you know how to pronounce “Simon” in French? It’s like this- “See-moh” with the nasally “N” at the end. :) Can’t wait to check some of these out, hopefully from our library here in Fburg!

    • Becca April 17, 2015 at 11:40 pm #

      Yes, dedicated to YOU! And Lucie, aww, she’ll grow into it! Pretty soon she’ll be reading to you in French, I have no doubt. ;)

  3. Abi April 17, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    PS I have been the “tooth mouse” for Halloween a couple of times since I started teaching French :) I’ll have to show you a picture sometime :)

    • Becca April 17, 2015 at 11:40 pm #

      I didn’t know it was such a tradition! I like it better than the tooth fairy.

  4. Joy @ Jumbled Up Joy April 17, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    Loooooove this post! You know me, determined to raise little Francoohiles! ;-) I actually hadn’t heard of most these (though we have Mirette, and I think every Madeline ever written), so I’m going to check them out for sure!! Thanks!

    • Becca April 17, 2015 at 11:41 pm #

      Yay, so glad it’s what you need! We’ll be on the hunt for more and might do another post about it sometime… who knows?!

  5. Barb April 17, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

    Thank you for the list! I have lil grandkids and are hoping for some petit enfants in Paris after our daughter’s wedding this spring.

    • Becca April 17, 2015 at 11:41 pm #

      Sounds delightful! These would make some fun reading for them, for sure.

  6. Christie April 17, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

    Can’t wait to check these out! We just read “A Giraffe Walks to Paris” from our local library and loved it! (the title might not be exact)

    • Becca April 17, 2015 at 11:41 pm #

      Sounds intriguing. I’ll look it up and see if our library has something that sounds similar. :)

  7. Alica April 18, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

    I remember that Jenna loved the Madeline books. As a matter of fact, those are some of the few children’s books that I’ve kept!

    • Becca April 28, 2015 at 10:01 pm #

      Yes, they are definitely favorites around here! We have four Madeline books, I think, and would definitely enjoy more!

  8. Sheila May 14, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    Here are a few more in this genre for you to check out that my kids and I really like!

    Crepes by Suzette by Monica Wellington (and the recipe for crepes is great!)

    Kiki and Coco in Paris by Nina Gruener and Stephanie Rausser

    Monsieur Saguette and His Baguette by Frank Asch

  9. Stephen Ujlaki April 27, 2018 at 8:00 am #

    Here are a few more we love, a series about an American dog who moves to Paris:

    Paris-Chien: Adventures of an Expat Dog (2013
    Hudson in Provence (2015)
    Hudson and the Puppy: Lost in Paris (2018)

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