I know! You just want a post about all the fun stuff we did in San Francisco already. But since we're flying back today, and I'm sure I'll need a few days to recuperate, I'm queueing up this post about San Francisco kids' books instead. (If you check out my Instagram feed, it's full of San Fran pics though!)
I love checking out books from the library about things that Eleanor is interested in. So I checked out a handful of San Francisco books when we decided to go on vacation. The library didn't have quite the selection I wanted, so I also bought two books, one for each of the girls. For Juliet I got a board book called San Francisco ABCs. It has vivid illustrations of San Francisco scenes with animals on them: An Alligator Attempting to Escape from Alcatraz, a Sea Lion Snacking on Sourdough, etc. Some of them are a bit of a stretch, but she loves animals, so it's perfect for her.
For Eleanor I chose The City by the Bay. It has gorgeous, bright illustrations, and lots of fun facts about various city attractions. It's my favorite of the bunch, because it highlights a bunch of different buildings and features of the city, and the pictures are just so great. If you're only going to buy one, I'd go with this one.
One of our favorites from the library was Lizzie Newton and the San Francisco Earthquake. Eleanor read it about a dozen times, and then asked me worriedly if there would be an earthquake while we're there. It has really pretty, painted illustrations, depicting the 1906 earthquake. I thought a great side aspect is that it includes some real photographs of the disaster in the back, plus a "Reader's Theater" guide, with a whole script written out so that kids can act out the story. It's probably geared more for 7-10 year olds, but she liked it a lot.
I loved San Francisco Baby, although Juliet wasn't particularly excited about it. It's fun to see the city through a baby's eyes, and I thought it was cuter than the SF ABCs one. It's just a bit over Juliet's head though - probably perfect for a 2-3 year old. It just has such happy illustrations!
The Eye of the Whale doesn't really have much to do with San Francisco; it's the story of a whale who got trapped in crab trap lines, and had to be rescued by divers. But it's based on a true incident that took place near SF, and the Golden Gate bridge shows up in the pictures. So I guess that was enough to make it turn up in my keyword search of San Francisco on the library website! It's a neat story, and it has some really pretty illustrations.
Similarly, Gold Fever doesn't specifically mention San Francisco. But it does tell the story of the forty-niners who went out west for gold. Eleanor was amazed to discover the source of the name forty-niner (since Noel is a huge 49ers fan, and she's been watching football with him for years, without realizing why they were named the 49ers). I thought it was a nice intro into the history of the gold miners who settled the area.
Pop's Bridge is about the building of the Golden Gate bridge. A boy named Robert and his friend Charlie, whose fathers are respectively a "high-iron man" and a painter, love to watch the building of the spectacular bridge. The pictures are gorgeous, and the history is accurate: including an accident in which several workers lost their lives.
Update: I queued this post up pre-vacation, but at a bookstore in SF, I found two more cute titles! This is San Francisco is a beautiful reprint of a vintage picture book.. And I got one called Larry Loves San Francisco for Juliet. She loves it because she loves dogs so much, and Eleanor enjoyed it too, because of the dog running down Lombard Street, and other sites we'd just visited.
I'm not the only one who hits the library pre-vacation, right?
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