Yesterday I wrote about awesome Spring Break destinations in the Caribbean Islands as recommended by travel bloggers. One thing that stood out is how many people love the Dutch Caribbean. I haven’t been to that section of the world yet, but I do love both the Caribbean and the Netherlands. So, I can only imagine the Dutch Caribbean would be a fun place to visit. If you’re thinking of going there and want some books for your kids, take a look at the best children’s books for a trip to the Dutch Caribbean.
What are the countries of the Dutch Caribbean?
So glad you asked. This is probably my favorite geography-related hole to go down.
The Dutch Caribbean is made up of three countries that are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten. It also consists of three provinces of the country of the Netherlands: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba.
Except for Sint Maarten, each of the other islands are their own islands. Sint Maarten is on the bottom half of the island of Saint Martin. The top half is France’s Saint-Martin.
It’s so confusing and I love it. But, if it’s getting confusing for you check out this video:
The former Dutch Antilles Islands
In addition to the political differentiation mentioned above, the islands of the Dutch Caribbean also have geographical distinctions. Together they used to be known as the Dutch or Netherlands Antilles. Within the Dutch Antilles, we had two groups –
The Leeward Antilles
These islands are off the coast of Venezuela. These three Dutch Caribbean islands are Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Aruba and Curacao are independent countries. Bonaire is a province of the Netherlands. But together, these countries and the province are known as the ABC Islands.
The Leeward Islands
These islands are closer to Puerto Rico. They are Sint Maarten, Saba, and Sint Eustatius. Sint Maarten, again, is a separate country. Saba and Sint Eustatius are provinces of the Netherlands. There are also other islands in the Leeward Islands, but the three mentioned are the ones that are Dutch. These are also referred to as the SSS Islands.
For the purpose of this post, I’m organizing these by their geographical location.
Best children’s books for a trip to the ABC Islands
Ok, so Aruba and Curacao are independent countries. Bonaire is a province of the Netherlands. But together, these countries and the province are known as the ABC Islands. Here are some books set in at least one of those islands, but mostly Aruba:
A Is For Aruba: A Family Alphabet Book
by Lori Flying Fish (Author)
See Aruba’s sites and learn a little bit about the language in this book.
The Adventures of Tutu and Tula: Rescue
by Mr. John H Gray (Author), John Gray (Author), Aria Jones (Illustrator), Bobbie Thorne (Contributor)
These sibling turtles live on the coast of Aruba. This book is just one of the series.
The Aruba Kids Club Activity Book
by A. C. Robinson (Author)
Help kids learn more about Aruba with this Aruba-based activity book.
Good Night Aruba
by Adam Gamble (Author), Marcos Calo (Illustrator)
Kid’s love the popular “Good Night Our World” board book series. This one gives them a chance to say good night to all of Aruba’s popular sites.
A Sunshine Day! A Kid’s Guide To Willemstad, Curacao
by Penelope Dyan (Author), John Weigand (Photographer)
A child’s guide to the Dutch Caribbean Island capital of Willemstad, Curacao.
Birds of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao: A Site and Field Guide
by Jeffrey V. Wells (Author), Allison Childs Wells (Author), Robert Dean (Author)
This is not a children’s book. But it’s also not not a children’s book. It’s a book to help visitors identify birds in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. I thought it would make a great fit.
Best children’s books for a trip to the SSS Islands
There aren’t a lot of books written about the former Leeward Islands. But, I did find one.
Leeward Islands: Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Eustatius, Guadeloupe, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Montserrat
by Lisa Kozleski (Author)
Learn facts about these islands.
Children’s books written in Papiamento
Papiamento is the language spoken in the Dutch Caribbean Islands. It is similar to Haitian Creole. There aren’t a lot of books written in Papiamento, but you can get details about the language here.