With the weather still feeling chilly outside, there’s nothing better than curling up indoors with a book or two. Actually, make those California books so the next time the family sits down to read, you can start making those family travel plans!
Reading (and enjoying the scenery with) California books
Luckily for us, California can fill in more than just a few pages and give us stunning illustrations. Apologies for filling in those overflowing bookshelves, but you will want ALL of these books!
For the Little Ones
My Little Cities: San Francisco; by Jennifer Adams, Pictures by Greg Pizzoli
San Francisco’s version of My Little Cities brings bright and wonderful illustrations along with baby-friendly text. This rhyming book allows you to spend the day in the City being a tourist. Sea lions, picnics, and riding the cable cars are just a few of the family activities to enjoy throughout this little book. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the My Little Cities series by Jennifer Adams.
An Education through Poems
Our California by Pam Munoz Ryan, Illustrations by Rafael Lopez
Tour California’s major cities and regions via poem and beautiful images. The four line verses of each poem highlight cities across California, and not just the touristy spots! Though recommended for age six and up, younger children will love looking at the illustrations. The wonderful map is great for teaching children distances, as well as planning upcoming trips!
Teamwork and Real Life
Pop’s Bridge by Eve Bunting, Illustrations by C. F. Payne
Pop’s Bridge tells the story of the Golden Gate Bridge, from the plans to completion, through the eyes of a young boy. Author Eve Bunting goes beyond the technical aspect, taking the reader through the emotions behind the construction. Most of all, readers learn about teamwork and history.
*As a warning, Pop’s Bridge does mention death when part of the scaffolding falls on ten workers during the build.
Redwoods by Jason Chin
A remarkable tale told through the eyes of a young reader who travels via a book (about the redwood forests) into what seems all too real to him. Gorgeous illustrations mixed with facts about Redwoods make this an essential read for any eager mind. The author has also included notes towards the end of the book in regards to the environmental dangers that Redwoods face.
Art at its Best
The California Pop-Up Book, Various Artist Contributors
Produced in part by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, this must have pop-up book features some of the best artists’ contributions. As the story of the Golden State is told, visit Sonoma County via a pop-up, pull out David Hockey’s Mulholland Drive, and be amazed by the detail in this book. Unlike the My Little Cities series, you may want to keep this one away from the smaller hands in the family!