The best kids' books all about Chicago

We all know Chicago has inspired great movies like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Adventures in Babysitting," but the Windy City has served as the backdrop for many a children's book, too. Try these for some bedtime reading to introduce your little Chicagoans to their hometown.

"W is for Windy City"

by Steven and Debbie Layne
$17.95 on


"A is for Art Institute
or Adler Planetarium.
And if we want a triple A,
we'll add the Shedd Aquarium."

So begins "W is for Windy City," an alphabetical tour of Chicago's landmarks written by a St. Charles couple. The poetry is perfect for the early elementary crowd, while older kids will pick up little-known factoids about the city and its history. And they're not all places - Barack Obama, the Daleys, MJ and Oprah all get their due. Make sure to check out the "X" for a clever take on the Sears Tower vs. Willis feud.


"Chicago Cubs ABC: My First Alphabet Book"

by Brad M. Epstein
$11.95 on


Take a stroll around Wrigleyville and you'll see the blue-and-white "W" flags hanging from porches and car antennas. This book tacks on A for at-bat, F for "Friendly Confines", I for the famous ivy of Wrigley, and more. We were hoping E was for "eternal optimism"...


"1-2-3 Chicago: A Cool Counting Book"

$8.95 on


Kids will count from one to 10 with some of Chicago's most beloved symbols. You'll have to swap Willis Tower in for Sears Tower, as this book is pre-2009, but this board book is a winner with bold illustrations and a complete location list at the end to help families plan their own day in the city.


Good Night Chicago

by Adam Gamble (illustrations by Joe Veno)
$9.95 on

"Goodnight Moon" has nothing on this bedtime book, which takes little ones through a full day in and around Chicago. Chicago's world-class museums get greetings, as do the sports teams, shopping spots and favorite recreations. Even the Picasso gets a shout out on our personal favorite page. The littlest readers will be sure to return to it again and again and spot the special sites on a trip downtown.


Journey Around Chicago from A to Z

Martha Day Zschock
$12 on

Next stop, Chicago! That's the shout from conductor Martha Day Zschock, who has taken children and their delighted parents on Journeys Around Boston, New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Maine, Nantucket, and Cape Cod since starting this bestselling series in 1999.


Larry Gets Lost in Chicago

by Michael Mullin and John Skewes
$12 on


Pup Larry and his owner Pete take a vacation to Chicago, but somewhere in between the Magnificent Mile and a stop at a hot dog stand, Larry loses his way. Join this troublesome pup on a romp as he searches for Pete and passes through Chicago's most famous landmarks.


"Let’s Go to Chicago!"

by Karen Dean
$16 on


Experience the excitement of Chicago, along with mom and her 6- and 9-year-old boys. Atrain ride takes them to the big city, where a boat ride, museums, dinosaurs and the Navy Pier are all on the agenda.


"Beaver is Lost"

by Elisha Cooper
$14 on


This wordless book tells through pictures the story of a young beaver who climbs onto a narrow log and floats away from his family. He ends up lost in a vast city where he is chased by a dog, visits beavers at the zoo, and swims across a lake. This is a book for the pre-K crowd: Youngsters should enjoy following Beaver's trek as he searches for home.


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