Over the past 20 years, I have been collecting Peru books, and have in my library some of the Best books on Peru. Since I became a mother I have also been keen to teach my children about Peru, especially as my eldest daughter was born in this fascinating country.
If you are looking for the Best Machu Picchu or Peru travel books, then please refer to Best Books About Machu Picchu And Peru Travel.
Why Create A Collection Of The Best Peru Books For Children
We have been asked a few times, “What are the best Peru books to prepare my children for a trip to Peru” and so here are our answers!
For us, one of the best ways to prepare our children for a trip is reading books about the country and their culture! This means that when you get there they have some cultural context. We find that knowing a little about culture also helps children adapt more quickly.
Even if a country is not on your immediate travel plans, reading about places is a fantastic way to educate your children about the wonders of the world! We are very interested in the idea of #worldschooling and reading books. So here they are the best Peru books for children.
Best Books About Peru – For Young Children
These Peru books are for younger children – approximately 3 to 6 years old.
Maria Had A Little Llama / María Tenía Una Llamita By Angela Dominguez
A twist on the popular children’s rhyme ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’, this is about Maria and her little llama. With text in Spanish and English, this book gives a fresh, multi-cultural perspective to a popular children’s story, with some really cute illustrations.
The familiar rhyming elements make this book appealing to children and the bi-lingual nature of the book is not only unique but educational. This is one of the best Peru books for children. Get your copy of Maria Had A Little Llama here.
Up And Down The Andes By Laurie Krebs And Aurelia Fronty
This is a simple, but strong short story of children who travel from all parts of Peru to participate in the festival of the Sun God that takes place in the city of Cusco.
Told in short sentences that rhyme, this book is great for children as young as 3 years old! Readers will gobble up the beautiful illustrations that stay true to the Andean region. This is a Peru book we have read many times to our children. Up And Down The Andes is a must-read Peru book for kids.
The Llama’s Secret: A Peruvian Legend By Argentina Palacios Ziegler
The Llama’s Secret tells of a Peruvian legend that is similar to that of Noah’s ark. A llama warns of a great flood and encourages its owner and many animals to go to a high mountain for safety. This is a story about Peru, as well as one with a moral theme.
Kusikiy A Child From Taquile, Peru By Author And Illustrator Mercedes Cecilia
A charming and sweet tale about a young boy that wishes to help his community when they are faced with a problem. With beautiful illustrations, we learn about the culture and traditions of Peru. Every page of text has a full page of illustrations to really help draw younger readers in.
An excellent book to help elementary school-age children learn about climate change, and how an idea just might help solve the problem. We really love this book. Kusiky A Child From Taquile, Peru is one of the best Peru books for children out there!
Best Books About Peru – For School-Aged Children
The Rainforest Grew All Around By Susan Mitchell And Connie McLellan
The Rainforest Grew All Around is a cumulative rhyme that is adapted from the song, “The Green Grass Grows All Around” that describes the rainforest and its inhabitants both wildlife and plants living in the canopy. This is an excellent beginner’s science book and recommended for young readers age 5-9, it provides a great opportunity for children to learn about the rainforest, the animals that live there, and how plants and trees grow from seeds.
Because of the lyrical text, it makes this book an easy read and truly helps a child engage due to repetitive manner. The illustrations are captivating and colorful. The main text is appropriate for younger children but there are sidebar details which adults can utilize for older kids or siblings who are reading along.
Lost City: Discovery Of Machu Picchu By Ted Lewin
Informative, yet visually stunning, this picture book follows Hiram Bingham’s journey that was taken to re-discover Machu Picchu. It focuses only on this adventure, and not on the nearby cities that he discovered at the same time.
Lewin’s watercolor illustrations of Cusco, Urubamba, and Machu Picchu bring beauty and life to every page in a way that the whole family can enjoy. Although meant to help younger children in grades 1-3 learn more about the ruins and Hiram Bingham’s re-discovery it’s also a great read for any family planning a trip to Peru. Lost City is definitely recommended if you are taking your younger kids to Machu Picchu. Get your copy of Lost City: Discovery Of Machu Picchu here.
If You Were Me And Lived In…Peru: A Child’s Introduction To Cultures Around the World by Carole P. Roman
This is another installment in Carole P. Roman’s travel series which aims to educate children about different cultures and places around the world in a fun and interesting way. Think of Lonely Planet for children with more of a focus on cultural diversity and the ties that bind us all together as humans.
If You Were Me And Lived In..Peru does a fantastic job of getting kids interested in learning about the culture, customs, and language of Peru. It is a great read in general, but especially before traveling to Peru.
Best Books On Peru For Older Children/Tweens
For competent readers, these books are a good introduction to Peru, in a fictional way. Targeted at children aged 8-12.
Secret Of The Andes By Ann Nolan Clark
Simply put, the Secret Of The Andes is an excellent choice for young readers who are traveling to Peru. It is very informative and can help them prepare for a trip. This book is incredibly well written, very descriptive and you find yourself walking along with the young Incan boy on his adventures to find a family and also the secrets of his Inca ancestors.
The Ugly One By Leanne Statland Ellis
This is a teen coming of age book set in Peru and talks about village life in Inca times. It is the tale of Micay, a young Incan girl whose face is badly scarred. A boy in her village calls her Millay, The Ugly One, and she feels is embarrassed by her face. After she becomes the student of her village’s shaman, and her self confidence begins to improve, and she finds her voice and discovers who she really is.
Where Is Machu Picchu By Megan Stine
Part of the Where Is? series, this is an introductory non-fiction book about Machu Picchu, Peru and its people, and its discoverer (Hiram Bingham). This is a great younger reader’s book on Machu Picchu and provides enough information to give context without overwhelming the child.
There are good illustrations that support the text and make it an easy to digest introduction to Machu Picchu. This is the best Machu Picchu book for older kids. Get your copy of Where Is Machu Picchu here.
For Parents Travelling To Peru
Here is our list of the best Peru books for parents to read before visiting. As parents ourselves, we know that time is at a premium. It’s super useful to have enjoyable books to read that also educate you on the place you are visiting (2 birds with one stone, so to speak). These are all interesting books about life in Peru. They are sufficiently good reading to give you lots of background knowledge to pass on to your kids. Plus some very cool facts!
The White Rock By Hugh Thomson
This is quite possibly my favorite book about Peru. It shares the story of a young adventurer setting off to find some ruins once found (by Hiram Bingham) but subsequently lost. As Hugh travels, he shares much of the history of the Incas, in a captivating and thoroughly fascinating way. As a parent, I can share history with my kids when I am passionate about it.
The White Rock brings Inca history alive and tells a great travel story at the same time.
Eight Feet In The Andes By Dervla Murphy
If you think you are a hardy travel parent… then prepare to be humbled! Eight Feet In The Andes is a vivid story about a woman and her young 9-year-old daughter who travel with a mule named Juana along the trails of the Andes, making their way to Cusco, Peru. Their journey begins in 1979, and takes place over the course of 3, or so months. Throughout their journey, they face many hardships from blizzards to theft to not knowing where they will find their next meal.
This Peru book is worth the read if you can move through some of the slower sections. Plus, it will give you the sense that perhaps you should tell your kids to “toughen up”.
Conclusion – Best Books About Peru
Peru is a country that is near and dear to our hearts. Peru with children is a great country to visit. So, if you are planning a Peru family vacation or just simply want to read books about Peru, we hope you find our recommendations useful. Our list of best books on Peru are books we personally have read, enjoy, and recommend.
Looking For Peru Family Travel Advice?
Here is our list of tried and test tips for Visiting Machu Picchu with kids.
Where should you stay in Machu Picchu? We have a fantastic list of Machu Picchu hotels, which we have stayed in ourselves. Take a look at the Best Family Hotels in Machu Picchu
One of the major things about Machu Picchu is that you need to book really early, check out Book your Machu Picchu Family Holiday early – 6 reasons why!
We always travel with insurance, it has saved us numerous times. World Nomads have specially designed travel insurance for families! Take a look at their Family Travel Insurance here.
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