Best Peruvian Children’s Books and Peru Books for Kids

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Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Travels with Kids

Books are a truly wonderful way to teach children about the world, and here we have our favourite Peruvian children’s books to share with you. 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.  We have personally purchased many of these Peru books for kids and got others out from the local library.  In addition,  I believe that these are some of the very best children’s books set in South America – yes, I’ve been researching!

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.

This post may contain affiliate links, from which we would earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. More info in my disclaimer.

Why Create a Collection of Peruvian Children’s Books?

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 by reading books about the country and their culture!  We find that knowing a little about culture also helps children adapt more quickly to what they are seeing.  If you are planning a family trip to Peru take a look at our extremely comprehensive guide,  Peru Travel Tips – Advice for Traveling in Peru with Kids.

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 and we love reading children’s books set in different countries.   We are very interested in the idea of  #worldschooling and learning about kids in other countries.

Best Children’s Books about Peru – For Young Children

These Peru books are for younger children – approximately 3 to 6 years old.  They include several of the best rainforest books for children and preschoolers.

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’, 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 beautiful children’s story about Peru, as well as one with a moral theme.



Kusikiy a Child From Taquile, Peru By Author And Illustrator Mercedes Cecilia

This Peruvian children’s story is 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!

VÁMONOS: Lima By Patty Rodriguez (Author), Ariana Stein (Author), Ana Godinez (Illustrator)

This is a fantastic book from the VÁMONOS series that teaches your littles about Lima, Peru’s capital.  Explore Lima with vibrant illustrations as well as English and Spanish sentences.  This is great if you are raising a bi-lingual child or just simply trying to introduce the Spanish language to them.  The fantastic pictures in VÁMONOS: Lima will keep the little ones entertained.

The only criticism is that the book does not specifically stay on the topic of Lima.  It also introduces them to other Peruvian children’s book topics like Machu Picchu and food in Peru.  Overall, it is a fantastic Peru book for kids.



Best Books about Peru – For School-Aged Children

By school-aged children, we loosely mean from aged 5-10.  This list includes several of the best rainforest books for children and preschoolers.

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” which 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 aged 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.  Without a doubt one of the best rainforest books for children.

Because of the lyrical text, it makes this book an easy read and truly helps a child engage due to its repetitive manner.  The illustrations are captivating and colorful.  The main text is appropriate for younger children but there are sidebar details that adults can utilize for older kids or siblings who are reading along.

Molly Goes to Peru (the Magic Suitcase series)

Molly and her brother Michael are endlessly curious about the world and through the Magic Suitcase series, they are deliciously transported to different places in the world.  Beautifully illustrated and well researched, I really liked the way the information about Peru was presented, and for someone who has spent 10 years in Peru found it accurate!  We loved the Peru Magic Suitcase book so much we subsequently bought the Molly goes to Thailand book, to help put into context what our kids experienced while in Thailand.


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.  Yes, we did it – take a look at our tips at Best Tips for Visiting Machu Picchu with Kids.

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.   Definitely a great series for getting children interested in other cultures.

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 for 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 through its descriptions of the culture.  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.


Horrible Histories: The Incredible Incas By Terry Deary

This is a funny and interesting book series called Horrible Histories.  It details the history and achievements of many different cultures while also highlighting the weird, gross, or quirky customs and happenings of each particular culture.  Horrible Histories: The Incredible Incas is an interesting way to get children engaged and interested in the Inca culture.

These books really make history fun to learn while pointing out “interesting” facts and their backstories.  Like the fact that llamas got to drink beer and wear earrings.


Best Books About Peru For Children

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 about Peru.


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 ihe 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”.


Best Books About Peru For Children

Cuentos Peruanos para Ninos

Estan buscando cuentos peruanos para ninos? O libros bilingues para ensenarles algo de castellano.  Tengo algunas cuentos peruanos que compre en Cusco que comparten cuentos de la gente de los montanas, y voy a buscarlos.

The Verdict – Best Peruvian Children’s Books & Peru Books for Kids

Peru is a country that is near and dear to our hearts and it has brought us great pleasure to create this list of Peruvian Children’s books.  Peru with children is a great country to visit –  so, if you are planning a Peru family vacation or just simply want to read children’s books set in other countries, we hope you find our recommendations useful.  We are currently working on other lists including Children’s books set in South America,  Rainforest books for children, and Cuentos Peruanos para Ninos.   If you are interested in any of these lists please don’t hesitate to drop a message in the comments or contact us directly.

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

Should you also wish to trek with toddlers, we can provide great advice having ‘been there and done that’ with Trekking with Toddlers in the Andes and The Short Inca Trail with Baby!

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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  • Thank you for this! We’re heading to Peru next summer at the end of our ‘big trip’ and I’m always on the look out for great books for the kids! This list is fantastic!!

    • I’m so glad that it will be helpful! Keep your eye out for our Great Books for Parents list too… I’ve got it mostly written! And if you need anything to help with your trip to Peru, I’d be glad to help. I’ve still got a couple more posts to do, including Cusco for kids and Arequipa for kids.

    • Yes absolutely agree. And a great way to get the enthusiasm and learning going before the trip.

  • These are great selections. WE are planning a trip to Peru soon so this is perfect. My wife just finished reading “Turn Right at Machu Pichu” So the first book you mentioned would be a perfect version for out little ones.

    • Glad you liked the list… I have another one which is Peru for parents, but i haven’t got to publish it yet. It doesn’t include “Turn Right at Machu Picchu” though… which incidentally I loved (the trek he takes is my favourite route.) She may also enjoy The White Rock by Hugh Thompson, which is an excellent overview of the region. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you need specifics prior to your trip!

  • I think books are a great way to get kids engaged with travel! I had no idea that there were so many kids books about Peru #fearessfamtrav

    • I guess when you live in a country you make sure you get every single book published about it!!!

  • This is a great idea. I hadn’t thought about reading books about forthcoming destinations to our son but think it’s such a good idea! I’m off to see what I can find about destinations we’re heading to later in the year! #fearlessfamtrav

Hi! We are a multicultural family from Peru, Nicaragua & Australia. We believe adventures can be global – and local – and are one part of our sustainable lifestyle, and raising children who are global eco-citizens.