Tag Archives: an armadillo in paris

10 picture books set in paris + PICTURE BOOK GIVEAWAY


I’ve been dreaming about visiting Paris someday, so I thought we could all dream together with some picture books set in the City of Light, each with its own special flair.

Come see!



Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of The Man Who Sold The Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli.

Just out this spring, Tricky Vic is a non-fiction book like no other. Instead of profiling an inspirational hero, this one tells the story of a con artist. And it’s very entertaining! And while not set entirely in Paris, the main episode referred to in the title takes place there—Vic’s attempt to sell the Eiffel Tower to someone in order to tear it down. Twice. (I’m giving away a copy if you scroll down. Woo hoo!)



Madame Martine by Sarah S. Brannen.

I’ll just go ahead and tell you I love this book. It’s about a woman who is used to her routine but is inspired to change because of a stray dog. And the payoff is pretty wonderful. Sunset at the top of the Eiffel Tower wonderful.  (I’m giving away a copy of this gem as well!)



Come With Me to Paris by Gloria Fowler, illustrated by Min Heo.

A rhyming romp through the sights of the city. So graphic, colorful, and charming!



A Walk in Paris by Salvatore Rubbino.

This one shows the landmarks of Paris as well, but with a girl’s grandfather as guide. So sweet.




Paris Chien by Jackie Clark Mancuso.

Hudson the expat dog narrates this charmer as he makes his way in Paris for the first time. And there’s a follow-up book just out in which Hudson travels to Provence!



This is Paris by M. Sasek.

A perfect historical portrait of Paris in the 60s. (See my post on This Is Hong Kong in the series too.)



 An Armadillo in Paris by Julie Kraulis.

This one reads as travel diary, penned by an armadillo! It also sees the sights, but at its heart is a mystery about The Iron Lady’s identity.



The Secret Circus by Johanna Wright.

Mice have a turn this time, traveling via tiny hot air balloon to a secret show, tucked away in Paris. Charming, magical, still, and satisfying.



A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna.

This is one you get for the mixed media artwork, which is wow! And more to distinguish it? The book is oriented vertically, giving us a fresh perspective.



Ooh-lala, Max in Love by Maira Kalman.

Because, Maira Kalman, right? And a second dog in Paris book. And it is so so so sophisticated and loads of fun.


Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Tricky Vic & Madame Martine! Two very different Eiffel Tower-centric picture books set in Paris to one lucky winner! 
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an armadillo in paris + eiffel towers + giveaway

armadillo-parisAn Armadillo in Paris by Julie Kraulis.

This picture book is the February Tundra Books book club selection. And it’s perfect for dreaming of a springtime in PARIS. (Not that I’ve been to Paris. But I will remedy that, oh yes I will.)


Here are three things I love about this book:


1. The unexpected choice of an ARMADILLO as its main character.


(click image(s) to enlarge)

I mean, an armadillo! Named Arlo! Driving that red car on the cover and exploring Paris just as his grandfather had many years before! Wearing that adorable French-colored scarf around his neck!

The contrast of an armored little Brazilian mammal with the city of Paris is just odd enough to be perfect.


2. The MYSTERY of the Iron Lady.


Arlo’s grandfather’s travel journals tell Arlo where to go in the city and how each relates to the Iron Lady for whom Arlo searches. For a kid reader who doesn’t know who the Iron Lady is, the guessing is so much fun!


Each stop on the journey is a clue: the CAFE named after the architect who designed her; the LOUVRE, which houses the 1889 World’s Fair Exhibit—this mysterious lady was the official greeter at the fair.

Macarons are compared to buttons the Iron Lady possesses. She is said to sparkle like the Luxembourg pond. On and on through all the stops in Paris.

Until…voilà! She is revealed! And she is the Eiffel Tower. (Some of you knew that all along, didn’t you?) And along the way you get to visit many magnifique places in Paris.

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 6.14.03 PM

3. Kraulis’s ARTWORK.


I especially love the way Arlo himself is rendered: always a pencil sketch. He’s plain and simple and anatomically correct. He looks like a scientific drawing and that’s a very inventive choice. (Not to mention his sweet, shiny eyes.)

He’s surrounded by the colors and people and magic of Paris.  Dresses and macaroons and posters and bright yellow trees. Dreamy water and dreamy sky.

Arlo is a little like us, no? Creatures who want to experience something special. Something more magnificent than we are. And that is why we go on adventures.



The book ends with some amazing facts about the Eiffel  Tower that explain the allusions from Arlo’s grandfather’s journals. For example:

“The Iron Lady is covered in 20,000 light bulbs that took 25 mountain climbers 5 months to install. She really does sparkle!”



Thanks to Tundra Books for images!


Tundra is also generously providing one copy of An Armadillo in Paris for a reader! Not only that, the package will include a poster with a reading guide as well as a handful of beautiful postcards, ready to send from your next adventure! (Open to N. America only.)



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Eiffel Tower goodies!


Eiffel Tower scissors by Seasonal Supplies on etsy.


eiffel-tower-decorated-cookie-584x568TomKat Studios Eiffel Tower cookie DIY.


1043388_10118259_pmBaker’s Joy Macaron Eiffel Tower poster.


eiffel-tower-costume-2Finally, for anyone who wants to build their own cardboard and foil Eiffel Tower, directions from Oh Happy Day!