Hi. I’m Ann.
I travel with my kids.
I read with my kids.
We travel for books and we travel through books.
When I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for online – a resource of awesome books for kids interested in the world – I created one. This one.
(Contact me here.)
Earlier today I discovered that the local map shop (yes, I live near a shop dedicated to maps) was looking for a part-time associate. Part of the job requirements included knowing geography. Unfortunately, I can’t apply, but I immediately thought of all the proof I have of loving geography.
I’ve had a map on my walls for as long as I can remember.
I thumbed through our family world atlas a lot growing up.
And also the ones at the libraries.
I’ve studied five languages – German, Italian, Latin, Japanese, and Mandarin.
I graduated with a degree in international affairs.
I worked as both a travel advisor in a travel agency and a study abroad coordinator for a university. (I also planned travel for incoming celebrities, filmmakers, and guests for a film festival once.)
My parents are from the United States and the Philippines.
I grew up in 5 different countries – the Philippines, Korea, Japan, the United States, and Germany.
I returned to Germany as an adult and gave birth and raised two kids there for a little a while before moving to the U.S.
We’re already thinking about our next international move. Hoping it’s Germany again and then, I swear, we will find a home in another part of the world.
I keep more than one map on more than one wall of my home.
And I bought my kids each their very own world atlases to love and travel lust with. Because I want them to grow up to be travelers… who maybe work in a map shop, too.
My family travel philosophy
My experience as a travel advisor on a college campus + a study abroad planner at a college campus taught me one thing.
When people, well-seasoned travelers or not, travel, they get hooked.
I was required, in my job, to plan focused itineraries for college credit. Through that, I developed my own philosophy on travel.
I love traveling. I knew when I had kids that I would need to continue traveling. For my soul.
I knew I wanted my kids to learn about the world, experience as much of it as they could first hand, and recollect these memories so that they will always have the travel bug. For their soul.
I started writing about my thoughts online. For your soul… ok, just kidding.
I wrote about family travel in a website dedicated to family travel tips. Then I focused on local travel when I lived in Germany with Belle NRW. When I moved to North Carolina I realized I need a site that can easily move with me and KidsTravelBooks was born.
As I’ve researched and added more books to the book directory, I’ve fallen in love with both travel and books all over again. I’ve learned so much about destinations and cultures around the world. I love what they mean to families.
These books can be used to help prepare families for a trip, remind kids of places they’ve already been, explain cultural heritage to little ones who want to know where they come from, and/or show them places they’ve never seen.
About Kids Travel Books
My goal with this site is to have at least one book for each country. But, I want more than one book if possible. This is harder than it sounds. Some countries have tons of books from folktales to facts & figures. Yet other countries have none that I can find that have been published in the past 600 years.
For those countries with little to no representation – I’ll keep on looking. If you know of any, please let me know.
For those countries with tons of representation – this site doesn’t have it all, yet. I tried to include a variety of book styles to appeal to everyone. But, the most I’ve likely added for one country by the launch of this website is around 10 books. And many places have many more than 10 books. If you don’t like the options you see here, please click on the link that most closely resembles what you’re looking for and you will find yourself in a black hole of possibility. Still, don’t worry, I’ll be constantly adding to this resource – you could always come back in a week’s time and find new options.
***Please note: There are easily almost 2,000 books listed on this site. I have not read all of them. I have not read a portion of them. I don’t plan to. I have, however, read the ones I have reviewed. And, in many cases, reviews are available on Amazon.
99% of the books listed are set in the country they are listed under. But, some slip through the cracks and may be books about the culture and not books about the destination. I’m ok with that if you are.
This site isn’t solely a review site for books. It’s a way to easily find books set in and/or about a specific country. If something doesn’t seem to fit, just let me know!
If you are an author, publisher, or reader of a book you think I’m missing, just email me and let me know.
Aside from making sure each country has at least 1-10 books, I have more specific plans. I’ll upload more books to the more popular tourist destination-countries. I’ll upload more city-specific books. I’ll upload more books for each of the 50 states and then the Canadian provinces and territories.
I am also working on a good solution to help you sort books by age.
About the organization of the countries
The countries are organized into 5 continent areas: Americas (to include North and South America), Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia & Oceania (which will also include any books in Antarctica).
*Please note: some territories are “owned” by countries on separate continents. They are listed under their geographically correct continent.
*Please note: some countries fall on the Transcontinental line and span more than one continent. If I couldn’t find a definitive answer, they are listed under the continent a majority of their land is located on.
Around the Web
Here are some guest posts I’ve written (I apologize as I’m working on updating this):
- Family Travel 411: The 411 on Charlotte with Kids
- Family Travel 411: The 411 on Cologne with Kids
- The Art of Nonconformity: Mini City Guide – Aachen
- Multicultural Kids Blogs: Books to Prepare Kids for a Trip Abroad
- Walking on Travels: Dusseldorf a City with No Obligations
Here are some posts I’ve contributed on:
- Travel Babbo: Tips for Peak Season Travel
- Mini-Time: Best Family-Friendly Airlines
- Mini-Time: 10 Tips for Stress-free Road Trips with Kids
Here’s what people are saying about KidsTravelBooks:
“The depth of global coverage on KidsTravelBooks is unexpected and comprehensive, with books arranged by continent and country… Don’t miss the blog, which has author interviews and book reviews, and the Resource Library, with summer reading programs, a free downloadable Travel Journal, book lists and more.”