Kids Books About Berlin

Friday 5 - Berlin

Keeping in with this week’s Berlin theme, I thought it was about time to share some of our favourite Berlin kids books. Whether you live here, are planning a visit, or simply want to introduce your kids to other places around the world, these books are perfect for toddlers, pre-schoolers and also one recommendation for slightly older kids. The books for the younger ones don’t really rely on being able to read German, and the book for older kids also comes in an English translation. So no excuses! Here they are, clockwise starting from the top:

  • Mein erstes Berlin Buch (Engl: ‘My first Berlin book’) by Heribert Stragholz – This chunky board book only seems to be available from third party sellers, but I just had to include it. Our neighbours in Edinburgh gave it to our eldest son as a leaving gift when we moved to Berlin. Apart from the title, it contains no words so works well in any language. Each page shows one picture of something typical of Berlin, including the yellow subway trains, a plate of Currywurst, the Reichstag dome, a graffiti artist, and the famous Nefertiti bust from Museum Island, amongst other things.
  • Berlin Wimmelbuch: Ausbruch aus dem Zoo by Judith Drews – A ‘Wimmel’ book is a very popular concept in Germany. It literally translates as ‘teeming book’ and is basically a kind of hidden picture book, similar to ‘Where’s Wally’, including densely illustrated scenes sometimes with specific things to find, sometimes just to see what you can discover. In Judith Drews’ large book of quirky illustrations, the animals have escaped from the zoo and you need to find them among the pages, which also include a host of famous Berlin landmarks such as the TV Towers, the Reichstag dome or the dinosaur skeletons at the Natural History Museum. The book includes a double spread at the beginning with things to look for and questions to answer, for which a certain level of German is required BUT this is just an added bonus because even if you don’t read German you can still study the illustrations together to see which escaped animals you can find.
  • Berlin ist Gross und ich bin Klein by Lololand Books – Another chunky board book, which I picked up at the train station because I loved the cute illustrations. It has silhouettes of famous Berlin landmarks, such as Museum Island, with cute and colourful little animals doing some sightseeing. My favourite is the Ku’damm shopping mile – it’s short for ‘Kurfürstendamm’, but also sounds like the ‘Kuh’, the German word for cow, so of course this page features little cows. Hilarious and cute.
  • Mein Grosses Berlin Wimmelbuch by Aleksandra & Aleksander – Another Wimmelbuch board book, this one has much more realistic illustrations than the one above. Each page shows a detailed scene from Berlin, including the Zoo, the Central Station, the Technology Museum, one of Berlin’s many lakes, and a Christmas Market, among other things. This book was a special edition for the Thalia bookstore, and sadly no longer seems available, but you can find similar ones on the Thalia website.
  • Emil and the Detectives (Engl: Emil and the Detectives) by Erich Kästner – This famous book by well-known and beloved German children’s author Erich Kästner is a classic, and has been made into a movie several times. Emil’s mother sends him to visit his grandmother in Berlin, letting him ride the train on his own. She pins some money for him inside his jacket. He falls asleep on the train, and when he wakes up the money is gone! With help from a band of boys and his cousin, Pony Hütchen, he sets out to track the thief down. Fun fact: There’s a Swedish children’s book series by Astrid Lindgren, whose main character is called Emil, but in the German translation he is called Michel because German children’s literature already had the well known Emil character from Erich Kästner’s book.

Do you have any other favourite children’s books set in Berlin? Please feel free to share your recommendations in the comments below!


Please note that the Amazon book links in this post are affiliate links. That means if you buy any books via these links, I receive a small percentage – at no extra cost to you! – which helps to keep this blog running.

11 Comments on Kids Books About Berlin

  1. Emily
    26 May 2017 at 7:17 pm (2 years ago)

    Such a wonderful looking collection of books. I’ll bookmark them for when we’re back in Berlin. A city we loved when we visited a couple of years ago. xo

    Reply
  2. Lea Hecker
    27 May 2017 at 10:58 am (2 years ago)

    Love it!! I am thinking about moving to Berlin sometime in the future, so just seeing these sweet children’s books make me so happy!!

    Reply
  3. Emma Lofthouse-Burch
    27 May 2017 at 8:50 pm (2 years ago)

    What a lovely selection of books. I love showing my boys different places around the world x

    Reply
  4. Helen
    28 May 2017 at 5:19 am (2 years ago)

    Such a lovely collection of book and – I love the illustrations. I can’t think of any books we have that are set in Berlin, but now have plenty of recommendations :)

    Reply
  5. Lyndsey O'Halloran
    28 May 2017 at 4:53 pm (2 years ago)

    I don’t think I’ve read a book set in Berlin. What a good list!

    Reply
  6. Lindsey London Mumma
    29 May 2017 at 2:40 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh we are avid book readers in my home and we love finding out about new places. This would be great as we have never been and would love to find out more.

    Reply
  7. Lou
    29 May 2017 at 3:38 pm (2 years ago)

    Such a great idea to expose kids to different cultures. Thanks for sharing xx

    Reply
  8. Cal at Family Makes
    29 May 2017 at 6:26 pm (2 years ago)

    How very interesting that there are so many books for children based on Berlin. We tend to travel to France most often, but my children are now learning German at school, so some of these might be useful. Thank you.

    Reply
  9. Fashion and Style Police
    29 May 2017 at 9:54 pm (2 years ago)

    The books sound very interesting. I have not read any of these with the kids. I will look them up.

    Reply
  10. Dealman
    4 June 2017 at 11:09 am (2 years ago)

    Good post. I love showing my boys different places around the world x

    Reply

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