Children’s Books Set in New York City

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Children's Books Set in New York City

 

I want my children to get as much as possible out of each and every trip we take. This is especially important to me as I have, on many occasions, had to explain to a teacher that ‘I view travel as part of my child’s education‘. That said, that child sure as heck better know something about their destination.

For our upcoming trip to New York City, I have fallen into my typical routine of devouring family travel guide books before bedtime and scouring the internet for all that is new and noteworthy.  The kids have also been learning about the Big Apple, through a selection of books and movies that just so happen to be set in, you guessed it, New York City. For the purpose of this post, I have come up with a short list of family travel guide books, story books and films that take place in New York City.

 

5 Family Travel Guides for New York City

5 Books About New York for Toddlers

5 Books About New York for School Aged Kids

5 Movies for Kids Set in New York City

 

 

5 Family Travel Guides for New York City

 

1. Eyewitness Travel Family Guide New York

Reviews: 4 / 5 stars on Amazon.com  

I have used several Eyewitness guides in the past and find them to be very useful. They offer quite thorough coverage of cities and are small enough to carry around in a bag during your visit for easy reference. As the guides do not offer a rating system, I tend to cross reference them with reviews from either Tripadvisor or Google.

 

2. The Kids Guide to New York City –  Eileen Ogintz

Reviews: 4.5 / 5 stars on Amazon.com  

This guide is full of kid tested tips on where to go, where to eat, and what to see. It is also chocked full of fun facts and little scavenger hunt type activities. Eileen Ogintz is a well known family travel writer whose weekly column Taking the Kids if featured in many national newspapers.

The Kid's Guide to New York City (Kid's Guides Series)
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3. Fodor’s Around New York City with Kids

Reviews: 4 / 5 stars on Amazon.com  

The Fodor’s guide provides a good overview of New York City with fun illustrations and facts. It is uniquely designed as a flipbook; as kids flip the pages, they’ll see the Statue of Liberty torch turn into a baseball player. While not as detailed as the Eyewitness guide, it still provide a good overview of family-friendly attractions in and around Manhattan. 

 

4. Not-For-Parents New York City – Lonely Planet

Reviews: 4.5 / 5 stars on Amazon.com

As the title implies, this book is intended to be read by kids, not by their parents (although I cheated and read it to my 6 year old).  It is full of very interesting facts about past and present day New York City. It would most certainly enrich the visit of any grade school aged child.

 

5. City Walks with Kids New York – 50 Adventures

Reviews: 4.5 / 5 stars on Amazon.com 

These guide are actually a set of cards that take you on 50 great kid-friendly walks around the Big Apple including; Central Park, the Children’s Museum of the Arts, Coney Island and Chinatown.

City Walks with Kids: New York: 50 Adventures on Foot
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5 Children’s Books Set in New York – Toddler / Preschool

 

1. This is New York – Miroslav Sasek

Reviews: 4.5 / 5 stars on Amazon.com  

I bought this for our son before our first trip to New York when he was in preschool. He was very interested in the bold illustrations and recognized many landmarks during our time in the city. First published in 1960, Sasek’s vision of New York over 50 years ago still remains fresh: the hustle and bustle of Times Square, the ethnic neighborhoods, the awe-inspiring architecture. Sasek captured the essences of New York that delight children and parents.

This Is New York
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2. Good Night New York City – Adam Gamble

Reviews: 5/5 stars on Amazon.com

Adam Gamble is a writer, a photographer, and a publisher. He is the author of the Good Night Our World series.  This board book with easy-to-read text, introduces New York City through a full day of sightseeing.

Good Night New York City (Good Night Our World)
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3. Eloise, a Book for Precocious Grown Ups – Kay Thompson

Reviews: 4.5 / 5 stars on Amazon.com  

Eloise is a little girl who lives at The Plaza Hotel in New York. She is not yet pretty but she is already a person. Henry James would want to study her. Queen Victoria would recognize her as an equal. She knows about The Plaza. She is interested in people when they are not. If you take her home with you, you will always be glad you did.

Eloise: A Book for Precocious Grown Ups
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4. New York, New York! : The Big Apple From A-Z – Laura Melmed

Reviews: 5 / 5 stars on Amazon.com  

Welcome to the Big Apple! From A to Z, the city that never sleeps has something to offer everyone! Come visit the American Museum of Natural History and see prehistoric animals, get a Bird’s-eye view of the Brooklyn Bridge, and check out Central Park in this alphabetical tour from bestselling duo Laura Krauss Melmed and Frané Lessac.

New York, New York!: The Big Apple from A to Z
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Hello New York City ! – David Walker

Reviews: 4.5 / 5 stars on Amazon.com  

Take a tasty bite of the Big Apple, where a lively tour goes from Times Square down to Coney Island’s famous aquarium, with stops at the American Museum of Natural History, Lincoln Center, and of course, the Statue of Liberty holding her torch up high.

 

 

5 Books for Kids Set in New York –  School Aged Children

 

1. The Cricket in Times Square – George Seldon 

Reviews: 4.5 / 5 stars on Amazon.com

Tucker is a streetwise city mouse. He thought he’d seen it all. But he’s never met a cricket before, which really isn’t surprising, because, along with his friend Harry Cat, Tucker lives in the very heart of New York City—the Times Square subway station. Chester Cricket never intended to leave his Connecticut meadow. He’d be there still if he hadn’t followed the entrancing aroma of liverwurst right into someone’s picnic basket. Now, like any tourist in the city, he wants to look around. And he could not have found two better guides—and friends—than Tucker and Harry. The trio have many adventures—from taking in the sights and sounds of Broadway to escaping a smoky fire.

The Cricket in Times Square (Chester Cricket and His Friends)
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2. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers – Mordicai Berstein

Reviews: 4.5 / 5 stars on Amazon.com

In 1974, French aerialist Philippe Petit threw a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Center and spent an hour walking, dancing, and performing high-wire tricks a quarter mile in the sky. This picture book captures the poetry and magic of the event with a poetry of its own: lyrical words and lovely paintings that present the detail, daring, and–in two dramatic foldout spreads– the vertiginous drama of Petit’s feat.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers
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3. Stuart Little – E.B. White

Reviews: 4 / 5 stars on Amazon.com  

Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he’s shy and thoughtful, he’s also a true lover of adventure. Stuart’s greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?

Stuart Little
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4. Madhattan Mystery – John J. Bonk

Reviews: 4.5 / 5 stars on Amazon.com 

All set to spend their summer in New York City with their aunt while their father is honeymooning with his new wife, Lexi and her younger brother Kevin discover their snoozy summer plans turn into high-stakes adventure when Lexi overhears a plot to steal Cleopatra’s famous jewels from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Joining forces with budding investigative journalist Kim Ling Levine, they ditch day camp to track down the thieves and rake in the reward money. Can Lexi, Kevin, and Kim find out who’s behind the jewel heist without getting into too much trouble themselves?

Madhattan Mystery
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5. Walls Within Walls – Maureen Sherry

Reviews: 4.5 / 5 stars on Amazon.com

After their father, a video-game inventor, strikes it rich, the Smithfork kids move from their cozy Brooklyn neighborhood to a swanky apartment on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.

One day Brid, CJ, and Patrick discover an astonishing secret about their apartment. The original owner, the deceased multimillionaire Mr. Post, long ago turned the apartment itself into a giant puzzle containing a mysterious book and hidden panels—a puzzle that, with some luck, courage, and brainpower, will lead to discovering the Post family fortune. Unraveling the mystery causes them to race through today’s New York City—and to uncover some long-hidden secrets of the past.

Walls Within Walls
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5 Children’s Movies Set in New York

 

1. Enchanted (2007) – Rated PG 

A classic Disney fairytale collides with modern-day New York City in a story about a fairytale princess who is sent to our world by an evil queen. Soon after her arrival, Princess Giselle begins to change her views on life and love after meeting a handsome lawyer. Can a storybook view of romance survive in the real world?

Enchanted
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2. Night at the Museum (2006) – Rated PG

A newly recruited night security guard at the Museum of Natural History discovers that an ancient curse causes the animals and exhibits on display to come to life and wreak havoc.

Night at the Museum
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3. Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) – Rated G

Kermit and his friends go to New York to get their musical on Broadway only to find it’s a more difficult task than they anticipated.

The Muppets Take Manhattan
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4. Stuart Little (1999) –  Rated PG

The Little family adopt a charming young mouse named Stuart, but the family cat wants rid of him.

Stuart Little
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 5. Elf (2003 – Rated PG)

One Christmas Eve a long time ago, a baby crawled into Santa’s bag of toys Raised as an elf. Buddy goes looking for his true place in the world–in New York City.

Elf
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Note: If you are looking for a list of great movies set in New York geared towards adults, check out this ‘Top 100 Best Films Set in New York from Time Out New York.

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