29 Books about France: Delightful Books for Touring Paris and France from Home

Books about France – Picture Books about Paris and Beyond

Bonjour! Bienvenue! The season for visiting the City of Lights is upon us – so grab a good picture book and begin reading on a journey to France.

This is a collection of the best books about France – from dogs climbing the Eiffel Tower to stolen paintings from the Louvre to a girl named Madeline. Discover France like never before in this collection of picture books about Paris and other delightful books about France.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links which generate income at no cost to you. The links are provided for your convenience of finding these books, but you may get them at the nearest local bookstore or online used book re-seller nearest you. The local library is also a fantastic place to get thousands of books, free!

Want books about France for older kids? Continue the journey with us next as we discover Children’s Chapter Books about France.

 

 

Books about France: Touring Through Paris

The Amazing Adventures of Aya and Pete in Paris by Serena Minott and Asha Gore, illustrated by Caroline Buzio

This picture book of France follows Aya and Pete on their adventures through Paris.

Poppy Take Paris: A Little Girl’s Adventures in the City of Lights, by Allison Pataki and Marya Myers

This ballerina is Parisian – she knows the City of Lights. She wanders through the city with her dog named Baguette.
The two are on a mission: Which light shines brightest in the City of Lights?
This book takes Poppy, in her pointe shoes, through the major attractions of Paris.

Adele and Simon by Barbara McClintock

 

Mr. Leon’s Paris by Barroux

Mr. Leon spends his days driving a taxi through Paris. He goes from the Eiffel Tower to the North Pole and to the Congo (locations within Paris itself).

Mr. Leon decides to go beyond Paris – he sells his taxi, and he goes to see the places in the world for which the streets of Paris are named.

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

In an old house in Paris lived twelve little girls  // in two straight lines // the smallest one was Madeline. 

Mirette on the Highwire by Emily Arnold McCully

Anatole by Eve Titus

A winner of the Caldecott medal for its illustrations, this book is likely the inspiration for the movie Ratatouille. Humans don’t like seeing mice tasting their food as leftovers, so Anatole decides to help out the cheese factory by tasting all the cheeses, leaving notes on which cheeses taste good and which ones need more attention.

The humans at the factory love his help, but they don’t know who is leaving these notes. Eventually Anatole’s role is discovered and he is appreciated for his culinary talent. Again, a perfect book complement to watching the Ratatouille movie.

Books in Paris: A Walk Through The City

Let’s Go Hugo by Angela Dominguez

A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna

Emma in Paris by Claire Frossard, photographs by Christoph Urbain

The Cat Who Walked Across France by Kate Banks, illustrated by Georg Hallensleben

Everybody Bonjours! by Leslie Kimmelman

This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek

Books on France: History Books

The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of how Muslims saved Jews During the Holocaust, by Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland Desaix

Six Dots: A Story of Louis Braille by Jen Bryant illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Paris in the Spring with Picasso, by Joan Yolleck, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

This book’s illustrations are a snapshot of 1920s Paris, at the time when Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, and Max Jacob are in town. The theme is that Gertrude Stein is having a dinner party – where the guests are described and charaterized in illustrations.

For young readers, they will be captivated by the pictures. Older readers with an interest in 1920s Paris might get a chuckle out of the soiree that is had, with famous artists and writers in attendance in a house near Luxembourg Garden. (This is not a book about Picasso).

 

Long-Armed Ludy and the First Women’s Olympics by Jean L. S. Patrick

Ludy is an American, from South Carolina, who competes in the 1924 Paris Olympics – the first year that there were events held in women’s competition. She achieves the impossible – something literally not existing just a few years before – and finds herself on a journey to Paris.

The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot: July 25, 1909 by Alice Provinsen and Martin Provinsen

Louis Bleriot was the first person to cross the English channel by plane, as he went from France to England that day in 1909.

The illustrations won the Caldecott Medal.

Claude Monet by Mike Venezia

The cartoon drawings in the margins add to the informational descriptions of Monet, the impressionist painter.

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Books about France with Animals

Madame Martine by Sarah S. Brannen

Madame Martine is an elderly woman who is set in her ways, living a life of predictability. She lives in Paris but avoids the Eiffel Tower – until she meets Max. She adopts the stray dog and puts him on a schedule, but then he doesn’t follow it – causing Madame Martine to follow him through the streets of Paris. The dog heads up the Eiffel Tower, causing Madame Martine to see her town from another perspective.  This picture book is a perfect story about a dog.

Hudson and the Puppy Lost in Paris by Jackie Clark Mancuso

Gastón by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Christian Robinson

This story is about a French bulldog who grows up in a family of poodles, and there is a poodle who grows up in a family of French bulldogs. The families of Gaston and Antoinette decide to swap puppies for the week to see if they “fit in” better near the other dogs who look like them. But quickly it is shown that they are a part of their own families, and they swap back to be in their best fit: a French bulldog loved by poodles in his family, and a poodle loved by French bulldogs in her family.
Note: This story mirrors real-life Switched at Birth stories like this one in Russia and this one in India. Be careful as it could be traumatic to a child of adoption, but on the other hand many people find that it is affirming to blended families and families that do not look biologically alike.
This preschool book about dogs largely takes place in the family home, but the dogs do meet up in a park in Paris, and there are some scenes of the city. There are words in French sprinkled into the book.

E is for Eiffel Tower: A France Alphabet by Helen L. Wilbur

This book takes a highlight tour through France’s famous landmarks – the Louvre Museum, Versailles, and the Eiffel Tower. It also shows famous French citizens, like Charles de Gaulle, Louis Pasteur, and Marcel Proust. Other regions, like Brittany and Bourgandy are shown.
This nonfiction book is layered – there’s the 4 lines of rhyme on every page, with a picture. That’s pleasing to the littlest readers. There’s also factual information written on the corners, which teach you things like that French is spoken by over 200 million people, or explain the origins of the Eiffel Tower.

The Way to the Orsay Museum by Hyo-Mi Park illustrated by Jae-seon Ahn

On the Way to the Orsay, there are panaramic views of Paris from overhead. The pictures carry this book about France, not so much the story.

The Girl and the Cathedral by Nicholas Jeter

Recently published in 2020, this book about France landmark La Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris tells a story about the history of the church’s landmark, including a portion about the fire that burned inside it.

Marielle in Paris by Maxine Rose Shur, illustrated by Jeanne B De Sainte Marie

Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Christina Björk and Lena Anderson

This book takes Linnea through beautiful French gardens and pretty Paris streets. It also takes her to the bridge in Claude Monet’s garden, where she learns about the French impressionist painter. This is a fictional book that contains a lot of historical and non-fiction information about impressionist art, Paris, and Claude Monet.

It is a picture book, but it is a long picture book. This may be a book you read in two sittings, or “look at the pictures” with a small toddler. But for a first grader, capable of listening to chapter books, this could be powered through in two sessions – with a break in the middle. Designed for children 7 to 10.

The Adventures of Hildie and Carlos: We Are Going to Paris! by T.S. Edwards

A book about Hildie and her cat Carlos as they set out on an adventure through Paris. This is also an ebook accessible on Kindle Unlimited.

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Éric Puybaret

 

 

What are your favorite books about France? One of these – or any not mentioned on this list?

And check out these chapter books about France for older children and for family read-alouds.

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