10 Children’s Books About Europe

Our next destination is Europe, home of pesto, baguette, biscotti, shortbread cookies, gingersnaps, fondue, gelato… We have been eating well! Here are ten books to give your kids a taste of life in Europe.

The kids enjoying a French breakfast of baguette dipped in hot chocolate, yogurt, and muesli.

The Cat Who Walked Across France by Kate Banks and Georg Hallensleben. Describes a cat’s journey across France to return to his seaside home. This book features richly colored paintings of a variety of scenes in France, from the countryside, through Paris, ending at a house by the Mediterranean Sea. Consider pairing with This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek or, for younger children, Everybody Bonjours by Leslie Kimmelman and Sarah McMenemy. Ages 3+

Starting School by Janet Ahlberg and Allan Ahlberg. My children have long enjoyed this fun, detailed account of eight children attending school in England. Starting School begins with the children’s first day of school and ends with the children performing a nativity play before school lets out for holiday vacation. Readers will discover that school in England is very similar to school in the United States. Ages 3+

Olivia Goes to Venice by Ian Falconer. A humorous story about the spirited Olivia and her family taking a trip to Venice. Olivia is an entertaining guide to the major sites in Venice. Olivia Goes to Venice! is best read with gelato! Ages 3+


Rechenka’s Eggs by Patricia Polacco. An engaging tale about an old woman who witnesses two miracles while decorating eggs for an Easter festival. While not a realistic portrayal of modern Russia, Rechenka’s Eggs is a wonderful story that depicts the beauty of traditional Ukranian eggs. If you enjoy Rechenka’s Eggs, look for others by Patricia Polacco. Ages 4+

Gabriella’s Song by Candace Fleming and Giselle Potter. The story of a Venetian girl named Gabriella. To Gabriella, Venice is the city of music. Gabriella incorporates the sounds she hears on Venice’s streets into a song that inspires a composer. Ages 4+

Market Day by Eve Bunting and Holly Berry. Inspired by memories of growing up in Ireland, author Eve Bunting wrote this story of a girl and her friend enjoying the fantastic sights at a village market. Ages 4+

Polina’s Day: From Dawn to Dusk in a Russian City by Andrey Ilyin. Describes a day in the life of a young girl Polina in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Polina eats breakfast, goes to school, explores downtown Saint Petersburg, rehearses a play, and enjoys tea with her family before going to bed. The photographs of Polina and her family are very valuable for helping children imagine life in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Ages 5+

This is London by Miroslav Sasek. Written in 1959, This is London describes London’s people, parks, black cabs, and underground, as well as London’s historic sites. Miroslav Sasek has written a series of books which includes This is Greece, This is Ireland, This is Rome, This is Edinburgh, This is Munich, and This is Venice. All are worth seeking out for their phenomenal illustrations. Sasek’s best books, including This is London and This is Paris, are witty as well as informative. Ages 5+ 

The Greatest Skating Race: A World War II Story from the Netherlands by Louise Borden and Niki Daly. A suspenseful story set during World War II about a young boy who must skate along frozen canals to guide two neighborhood children from Belgium to the Netherlands. The children’s father has been taken by German soldiers, and the children are no longer safe in Belgium. As he skates, the young boy is inspired by thoughts of the skater Pim Mulier. Pim Mulier was the first person to ever skate the Elfstedentocht — a very challenging skating tour and a national event in the Netherlands. Endnotes explain the history of skating in the Netherlands. Ages 6+

Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Cristina Bjork and Lena Anderson. A delightful story of a girl Linnea who visits Paris with her neighbor Mr. Bloom. Linnea and Mr. Bloom have a wonderful adventure, which includes staying in an old hotel with a view of Notre-Dame Cathedral, drawing and photographing flowers at Monet’s garden, meeting Monet’s step-great-grandson, picnicking by the River Ru, and waking up early to watch the sunrise on the Seine. Readers will learn about Monet, impressionism, and Paris, and enjoy imaging themselves traveling to Paris. Ages 6+

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This entry was posted in Ages 3+, Ages 4+, Ages 5+, Ages 6+, Ages 7+, Ages 8+ and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 10 Children’s Books About Europe

  1. I’d like to suggest. Paris-Chien: adventures of an ex-pat dog, often paired with This is Paris and Everybody Bonjours on Amazon. Of course, I’m prejudice because I’m the author and illustrator, but I invite you to take a look at it.

  2. Hi, Amy. What a great list! I’m especially interested in Gabriella’s song. It looks like a beautiful book, with a beautiful story. Plus, I would love to visit Venice one day. We used to live outside of San Francisco, and when we moved, a friend gave our girls the book This is San Francisco by Miroslav Sasek. We will have to check out his books about European cities, too!

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