Bringing Books to Life in New York City

Happy Spring!

The wind is howling… the snow is falling… yep, it’s a typical New York City start to one of our most fickle seasons. It’s always hard to predict what spring will bring, and it’s coming in with another storm. We hope you’re all cozied up today with a good book… preferably one that takes place on a beach.

Despite its less than ideal entrance, the start of spring has us daydreaming about warmer weather and long days spent outside. There’s always something to do in the city — and always new places to discover, especially with a little one in tow. Some of our favorite children’s books are set in New York and can almost provide whole itineraries for fun-filled days in the cold or warm, wet or dry. We’ve compiled a list of books we love that show our city and its many splendored landmarks love too! What are your favorites?

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

{The perfect option for a day like today and one that leaves a lot up to your imagination. We personally love the snow — its quiet magic, the way it can completely change the landscape of a place that you know so well. The Snowy Day follows a boy as he explores this new winter wonderland of a city, and it captures the excitement and joy of a child’s first snowfall beautifully. Based on Keats’s own experiences growing up in Brooklyn, this story will undoubtedly inspire you to bundle up your little one and head out for sledding, snowball rolling, snow angel making fun.}

Eloise at the Plaza by Kay Thompson

{Another beloved classic, Eloise at the Plaza tells the story of a precocious little girl who is living out a very relatable fantasy. The Plaza is her playground — what could be better? This day would require a bit more planning, but the Plaza is just as fond of Eloise as we are, often offering events in her honor. There are tea parties, storytimes, and even the option to stay in the Eloise Suite (if you’re looking to book an extra special staycation). Follow along with the Plaza’s calendar of events to see when you can spend a day living like Eloise.}

The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift

{This classic story has been capturing hearts and minds since 1942 and is, more than anything else, a love letter to New York City. Swift started writing it when the George Washington Bridge was being built, towering over the little lighthouse below. It speaks to how our city is constantly changing, but that there is beauty to be found in all that makes New York unique. The Little Red Lighthouse is still a premiere tourist attraction, settled on the bank of the Hudson River, and is a perfect destination for a day of walking, park picnics, and more. We’ll be thinking of this one until summer comes, for sure.}

You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman

{Who doesn’t love a day at the Met? Of course, in this story, mayhem ensues when a little girl loses her balloon and a security guard is tasked with the job of chasing it all over the city to return it safely home. The soft and beautiful illustrations in this story flip between the famous artwork hanging in the Metropolitan Museum, and the more hectic pieces of subway lines, circus performers, and more. Whenever we read it in class, it makes us itch to return to the Met and spend hours walking those halls. This is an activity we love in the warmer weather, too — it’s always nice to get out of the heat for a while. But, lucky for us, the Met is open all year and is a great escape from the ferocity of that winter (or spring!) tundra too.}

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

{One of our absolute favorite outdoor activities is, without a doubt, visiting the Highline. The Curious Garden was inspired by the Highline, and how the city — with all of its concrete and asphalt — can still be home to some truly amazing bits of nature. Brown wanted to question what it would be like if we could have true balance — the bustle of the city paired with the calm of the country. This is the perfect springtime read, and may even encourage your little one to plant a garden of their own — it may have to be small, and probably indoors, but it’s always something special to nurture life on your own. And then, of course, take a day trip to the Highline and experience the wonder of nature on a larger scale.}

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