Ultimate List of Books about New York City
Planning a trip to New York City? Live in the city? Have a fondness of skyscrapers and big cities? This is the booklist for you.
We started the Christmas season in New York City this year and spent a great deal of time beforehand reading about this great city. There are some truly extraordinary books written about New York City. The books below are the best of the best, most of which you can find in our home library. If you think I missed a great one, please share it in the comments below!
A Walk in New York City by Salvatore Rubbino
A father takes his son to New York city for the first time in this gently illustrated tribute to the first time wonders of America's biggest city. Together the pair explore many of the city's most famous attractions. The author also includes various additional facts about the city in smaller text. For instance, did you know that more hot dogs are consumed in NYC than anywhere else? Or that Broadway's American Indian name is Wickquasgeck Trail?
A New York Year: Twelve Months in the Life of New York's Kids by Tania McCartney + Tina Snerling
A New York Year follows five kids as they have snow days in January, attend the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest in July, and carol in their neighborhood in December. The authors have carefully balanced what is special with New York with the commonalities that kids across the country share while considering a wide variety of diverse backgrounds. This is no easy challenge but the result is an interesting and inspiring snapshot of New York life. Perfect for kids living in New York. 5+
Cooper and the Big Apple by Camille Cohn
As Cooper the cat and his friend Jennifer explore the city, Cooper figures out that the "Big Apple" refers to the city, subways don't refer to the sandwich, and Times Square has nothing to do with boring times tables - addressing our many confusion figures of speech. Although these misunderstandings lead to some disappointments, often Cooper finds himself pleasantly surprised by the big city. A fun, often humorous, trip around New York City and a wonderful discussion piece for the language that can confuse young children, especially those on the Autism Spectrum. The book is only enhanced by the delightful mixed media artwork that conveys the story with humor and creativity. Cohn wrote this book using her experiences and knowledge about the autism spectrum and her daughter, Riley, who illustrated the book is on the spectrum and considers her autism a gift.
Have You Seen My Dragon By Steve Light
This books shows up on a lot of my favorite lists because it is just that awesome. For these purposes, it is at its root a counting book following a little boy around a city while he searches for his dragon. Detailed illustrations depicting the city and opportunities to count common city items such as taxis, fire hydrants, hot dogs, etc. Not specifically about New York City but offers lots of opportunities for talking about and developing language about a big city.
Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure by Nadja Spiegelman and Sergio Garcia Sanchez
Lost in NYC is a marvelous subway adventure told through TOON Graphics. A school class, including its brand new student, takes a field trip on a subway train in New York City. It seems like a normal day until a couple of students step onto the Express Train instead of the Local Train and an adventure begins. The reader follows both the teacher and class frantically trying to find the missing students and the two students on their adventure as depicted through busy illustrations and dialogue bubbles. Ultimately, everyone is reconnected and they go on the intended adventure to the top of the Empire State Building. A story subways, New York City, and finding your way in more ways than one. A brilliant book that brings to life the hectic pace of New York, explores the emotions of being someone new, and documents the excitement and history of subway trains in an accessible and visual format for young readers. Make sure to read the additional information about the history and current state of subways and the Empire State Building in the appendix.
You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser
A little girl and her grandmother go to the Met with a balloon in hand. When the security guard stops them and insists they leave the balloon with him it sets off an adventure around the city. Brilliant wordless book teaming with fun details, scenes around the city, and plenty of adventurous inspiration.
Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet
This is the true story of the puppeteer that is the original mastermind behind the balloons of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade which we got to see this year! The illustrations in this book can't be beat and I love the fascinating history lesson.
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein
This is the true story of a French performer who walked on a cord between the Twin Towers while they were still under construction in 1974. It is a stunningly illustrated adventure and unique tribute to the events of 9/11. This has more recently been made into a movie called The Walk.
Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
A little boy goes to visit his Nana in New York City. He loves his Nana, but he thinks her city is too loud, busy, and scary. However, after Nana fashions him a red cape and gives him a tour of the city he comes to understand that although it might be big and loud, New York is also wonderful.
The Carpenter's Gift by David Rubel
Find it Online
This book tells the story of the first tree in Rockefeller Center. It is a beautiful story about hope and Christmas that I discovered a few years ago. I shared it with our kids for the first time after their first New York adventure and it inspired our Kid-Made Ornament for this year.
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