Top 10 New Book Picks from Travel for Kids

  Lafayette, California
April 30, 2012

Children's books and far-flung destinations are a natural, not only to read before, during, and after a family trip, but also when we curl up with books at home. Books take us to a secret place at Angkor Wat, swamps in the Everglades, days of the Pharaohs, or days that live in our imagination, as a hat floats over an artist's head.

Books are our inspiration, and our staff loves to read and review new books every year.  Here's ten of our favorites, ones that made us laugh, put a city in our hands, gave us a new appreciation for the guy with beautiful eyes (also president of the United States), and wished we could hear "songs as old as the mist and twisty as roads."

Pop-Up London

Pop-Up London
Jennie Maizels

Follow the Thames River through 3-D London, look inside Buckingham Palace, spin the London Eye, raise the Tower Bridge, discover the Whispering Gallery, open the flap on the Underground, plus ghost stories and famous people. Imaginative and fun, a super introduction to London.

Dodsworth in Rome

Dodsworth in Rome
Tim Egan

Delightful adventures of Dodsworth and his friend the duck, when they visit Rome. The duck eats seven scoops of gelato, tries to paint something on the Sistine ceiling (it needed a duck), gathers all the coins out of the Trevi Fountain, and wins a pizza-throwing contest.

Tales from India

Tales from India
Jamila Gavin, Amanda Hall

"Before the world began, there was only a white sea of milk. Floating on the sea of milk was a single lotus flower." Fabulous Hindu cosmic stories, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, gods of light and darkness, beloved Ganesh, demon kings, divine princesses, and great floods.

Looking at Lincoln

Looking at Lincoln
Maira Kalman

A fresh, fun look at Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president, whose portrait is on a five-dollar bill. He loved apples and vanilla cake, hated slavery, believed the country should stay united, and when you visit the Lincoln Memorial, you can look into his beautiful eyes.

Magritte's Marvelous Hat
D.B. Johnson

Before you visit the Magritte Museum in Brussels, read this imaginative story about the artist. Magritte buys a new hat that floats playfully above his head. What's familiar is now quite different – it rains under his umbrella, outside is inside, fish swim in the sky, but with the hat, Magritte paints his best paintings.

The Mysteries of Angkor Wat

The Mysteries of Angkor Wat
Richard Sobol

Angkor Wat is the world's largest religious monument, filled with mysteries old and new. Searching for clues about this lost civilization, the children of Angkor Wat took photographer Richard Sobol to a special place in the ruins – you'll never guess what he saw.


North: The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration
Nick Dowson, Patrick Benson

Go on a worldwide journey with animals who migrate to the Arctic region. Some swim (a young gray whale goes for eight weeks without feeding), some fly (even from Antarctica), some walk all the way (caribou trek across snow and icy rivers).


Carl Hiaasen

Wahoo's dad is professional animal wrangler, and a twelve foot alligator (named Alice), snapping turtle, python and other exotic critters live in their south Florida backyard. Heading out to the Everglades to work on a reality TV show, their adventures have only begun. A hilarious read!

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs
Marcia Williams

Nine stories of adventure and mystery, myths of Ra, the first pharaoh of Egypt, Isis and the cobra, Horus the Avenger, Thutmose and the sphinx, Hatshepsut, Tutankamen, and more. Delightful illustrations.

Passing the Music Down

Passing the Music Down
Sarah Sullivan

A young boy travels to Appalachia to learn to play the songs of an old fidddle player. Together they play "tunes as old as the mist and twisty as the roads." And one day the boy is grown, and he's passing the music down.

About combines fun things to do with practical tips from people who know how to make family vacation memories last a lifetime. The site features best bets for family hotels, family tours and travel tools, and staff recommendations for children's books, along with the essential practicalities of traveling with children to North and South America, Africa, Asia and the South Pacific.


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