Books to Read with Kids before heading to San Francisco


July 17, 2013 by Terumi

Larry gets lost in Sanfrancisco review

Relatives from Vancouver started us on this tradition years ago when the kids were born. Long before my guys had ever been to Vancouver our shelves were lined with books like “Goodnight Vancouver” and “Timmy the West Coast Tug“; stories that highlighted places from the homeland so that when they one day traveled there, they’d be familiar with the places that our family knew.

Now we do this with all the places we go.  Since we are heading to San Francisco in a little while we’ve now read a lot of books about the Golden Gate Bridge, going to the Fisherman’s wharf and riding trolleys. I think my guys are going to have a fabulous time.

Some of our favorite books that we’ve read:


Larry gets lost in San Francisco.  These Larry books are adorable.  I recently read the one about Larry being lost in Seattle and the San Francisco one is just as cute.  I am really curious about the Coit tower and I looked up the Sam Wo restaurant that’s in the book and was so sad to find it recently closed.

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Fly High, Fly Low: this one is by the Don Freeman, the same author that wrote Corduroy which we absolutely love.  It’s a really cute story about pigeons and my guys really liked it.  The Golden Gate bridge is in this book.

Oranges on Golden Mountain: We borrowed this book from the library and it really intrigued the guys because it’s about a boy who was sent to America to make money a long time ago.  They are fascinated with a long time ago!  It ties in with a trip to Chinatown or with all the fishing-related things on the pier.

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We didn’t read Pop’s Bridge together because there’s a part about a bunch of people dying (not too graphic or anything) and my guys are sensitive and they wouldn’t totally understand and  I knew that that if I read it, they would definitely worry when we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge.  I really liked the story because it made me think about the history of the bridge.

And I really wish we bought This is San Francisco because it’s cover is so stylish.  I’m hoping to find it when we go there and buy it as a souvenir.

I also think my guys would have liked San Francisco Secrets because they love love love fact books.

Do you have any favorite San Francisco books?

(PS. another thing I do before going on trips is try to get as much expert advice as possible. I’m so thankful I tweeted Cassie from Ever in Transit about food ideas for San Francisco. She was even kind enough to get a whole family-friendly San Francisco round-up on her blog!!! I highly suggest asking around if you’re going someplace and need some advice on what to see or do!)



  1. Mishele says:

    We have followed this practice as well when we travel. Our youngest son was studying the life of Albercht Durer for art class when we were traveling in Europe. We made sure to visit Nuremberg, Germany the artist’s hometown and stop by the British Museum to view the block print of the Rhino. I agree reading about a place or piece of work gives more meaning and makes the visit special. Instead of just another picture in the museum, the Rhino became my son’s favorite piece of art.


  2. Cassie says:

    Hi Terumi, what a great idea to prep kids with place-based childrens’ books! It’s something I do as an adult with books and movies, but iI never thought about how valuable this technique could be to get little ones excited about exploring a new city!

    And thanks for the shout out, I’m happy to help! Twitter is so great for giving and getting travel advice! Let me know when you’ll be around and I’ll see if I can get up to SF!

    • Terumi says:

      Oh thanks Cassie! We’ve already been and we’re back. It was just a short trip for Alt Summit:) but we had so much fun:)

  3. […] and the guys’ eyes were beaming because they were doing something they remembered from the books we read before we came. (We only bought a day-pass but in hindsight my husband at least should have bought the City Pass […]

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