New York, New York – An Empire State of Mind

New York City

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If planning a trip to New York City for kids, or if wanting to visit the city right from home through media, here are the perfect resources – songs, movies, and books – to learn about New York City. 

There are picture books about New York City, chapter books about New York City, read-alouds about New York City, children’s movies about New York City, and songs about New York City “the greatest city in the world, the greatest city in the world.” Let’s here it for New York, the lights will inspire you… on Broadway. 

Famous New York Songs

(each song about New York City includes the links to Youtube)

New York New York – song by Frank Sinatra

On Broadway, by the Drifters, in 1963

Empire State of Mind, by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys 

Schuyler Sisters – song by Hamilton the Musical “The revolution is happening in New York

These are some of the most iconic songs about New York City.

“History is happening in Manhattan, and we just happen to be in the greatest city in the world (the greatest city in the world)” – Scene from the Hamilfilm

New York Landmarks in Books

Even more books about New York City here!

NYC Sites for Children: Showing how people influence their world

Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge, by Rachel Dougherty

A Green Place to Be: The Creation of Central Park, by Ashley Benham Yazdani

Let Liberty Rise! How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty, by Chana Stiefel

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of the Macy’s Parade, by Melissa Sweet


New Yorkers Who Made A Difference

The Man Who Walked Between The Towers, by Mordicai Gerstein

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike, by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet


Picture Books about New York City



The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats

This book about New York City snowing won the Caldecott medal for its beautiful illustrations.

Eloise: The Absolutely Essential 60th Anniversary Edition, by Kay Thompson, illustrated by Hilary Knight

Lyle Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber


New York City Children’s Novels



Children’s Books About New York City, for Older Kids (9+ or read-aloud)

From the Mixed Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg

In The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, by Bette Bao Lord

All-Of-A-Kind Family, by Sydney Taylor

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, by Karina Yan Glaser

The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden, by Karina Yan Glaser


              Even more books about New York City here!

New York City Historical Fiction

Dreams in the Golden Country: The Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903. Zipporah makes it through Ellis Island, attends school, and lives with her sisters Tovah and Miriam. This was one of my favorites in the entire series, depicting the Jewish immigration experience and the assimiliation into American life.

Hear My Sorrow: The Diary of Angela Denoto, a Shirtwaist Worker, New York City 1909 (a book in the Dear America series). This book would be perfect for a sixth grader learning about New York City in the turn-of-the-century featuring Italian immigration. (Kindle only)


   Even more children’s books about New York City here!

New York Kids Movies

most of these are on Disney+. The Amazon Prime links are below:

Annie (2014) – This modern remake of Annie is full of scenes in New York City.

Secret Life of Pets What do pets do all day in their New York City apartments?

Secret Life of Pets 2

Enchanted A musical set in New York City?!

Stuart Little (1995) – This movie has Michael J. Fox, Hugh Laurie, and Geena Davis. Notable scenes from this movie take place in Central Park.

Miracle on 34th Street This classic movie focuses on the Macy’s Parade of New York City, and how the Santa Claus at the store is the “real deal,” proved in an epic court battle. 

Which movie about New York City is your favorite?


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