Peru Books for Kids: A Collection of Favorite Titles
Inside: Peru books for kids: a collection of favorite titles.
Peru is a magical place: full of history and culture and that stretches across the centuries. Here I’ve collected our favorite titles for introducing the country to children.
Right now, most books are very sierra-heavy: focused on the Andes and traditional culture. We live in the jungle, and there aren’t many books about the jungle, the coast, or more modern-day life. If you know of more to add, please let me know!
(For more book lists and suggestions, be sure to see my Spanish children’s books page.)
PERU BOOKS FOR KIDS
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FICTIONAL PERU BOOKS FOR KIDS
An adorable bilingual re-telling of Mary Had a Little Lamb, set in the Peruvian Andes– with a few extra details.
(PreK- 3rd grade)
Meet children who are traveling to the Inti Raymi festival (festival of the Sun God or the Incan New Year) in Cusco, through lyrical rhymes. This is a beautiful, folk-art introduction to the country and customs of Peru, with the Andes as the backdrop.
The Llama’s Secret – A Peruvian Legend
Available in Spanish and English, this folktale re-tells the story of the Great Flood. In this Andean version, a llama saves the people and animals by warning them to gather on a mountain. I love that authentic culture and words in Quechua are incorporate in this rich tale.
En Alas del Condor (Puertas al Sol)
Alma Flor Ada is one of my favorite authors, and this book is an overview of the native people of Latin America. Although it’s not only focused on Peru, the condor is the national Peruvian bird and a significant cultural reference.
Love and Roast Chicken: A Trickster Tale from the Andes Mountains
A Cuy (guinea pig) must outwit a hungry Fox in this light-hearted story set in the Andes. Beautiful wood-block illustrations and Quechua phrases add to the authenticity of the story.
Another llama tale, this is a sweet story about a young llama looking for friends who will play with him. Along the way, we meet typical Andean animals and beautiful scenes of Peru.
(PreK – 2nd grade)
Molly and the Magic Suitcase: Molly Goes to Peru
Part of a global “Molly goes to…” series, here we get an introduction to Peru through the eyes of two children, Molly and Michael. They visit Machu Picchu and other famous sites, and learn about traditional dances, clothing, and food.
Patterns in Peru: An Adventure in Patterning
Weaving together Peruvian culture and history, Patterns in Peru two children solve a mystery and learn about patterns along the way.
Kusikiy a Child from Taquile, Peru
Written in the tradition of magical realism, Kusikiy tells the story of a Peruvian boy who travels to the Guardian Spirit of the Mountain to find the lost stars of the sky.
The Adventures of Paloma in Peru
Learn about travel through Peru and caring for the environment with The Adventures of Paloma in Peru. (Each purchase in the U.S. buys a backpack for a child in Peru!)
PERU BOOKS FOR OLDER READERS
A Newberry Award winner, the main character here is an Incan boy in charge of caring for the llamas in the Sacred Valley. Mythology and indigenous traditions are woven throughout the story, as he learns the secrets of his ancestors.
An adventure story set in Peru, this one is written in Spanish specifically for novice Spanish learners.
(Middle – High School)
NON-FICTION PERU BOOKS FOR KIDS
Conoce Peru / Spotlight on Peru
Available in Spanish or English, this is the perfect introduction to Peru for kids, with an overview of its history, customs, geography, food, animals, and more.
A rhyming introduction to facts about Peru, letter by letter (M is for Machu Picchu!). Written in Spanish.
If You Were Me and Lived in…Peru
An introduction to Peruvian culture and history for kids.
(PreK – 3rd)
Enrique’s Day: From Dawn to Dusk in a Peruvian City
A realistic look into the everyday life of a boy who lives in Ayacucho. Kids will be fascinated by the photos that show day-to-day customs and routines, at home, school, and around town in Peru.
Doyli to the Rescue: Saving Baby Monkeys in the Amazon
An inspiring true story about a 10-year-old girl who lives on the Amazon river in Peru and rescues baby monkeys. Real-life photos give a fascinating look into nature and life in the jungle.
The Rainforest Grew All Around
Though not about Peru specifically, most of the books about Peru center on the Andes mountains and culture. Don’t forget that a huge portion of Peru is part of the Amazon rainforest! The Rainforest Grew All Around is a delightful introduction to the Amazon and its animal and plant inhabitants. Beautiful!
BOOKS ABOUT THE INCAS
The Everyday Life of the Ancient Incas
This gorgeous book (features over “500 color paintings, drawings, and photographs) is a wonderful introduction to Inca life on the everyday level.
(Grade 5 and up- I think)
Lost City: The Discovery of Machu Picchu
A wonderful book that tells the story of the “discovery” of Machu Picchu by Hiram Bingham. Gorgeous watercolor illustrations and storytelling.
The Inca Empire (True Books: Ancient Civilizations)
A basic introduction to the Inca Empire, with photos.
Another look into daily life among the Incas, for slightly younger readers.
An in-depth look at the history of the Ancient Inca civilization. Packed with information, art, graphs, and photos.
Machu Picchu: The story of the amazing Inkas and their city in the clouds
A high-quality introduction to the Incas, both in text and illustrations. Be aware that some graphic scenes are included (human sacrifices). (Grades 5-8)
Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu: Folk Tales and Stories of Inca Life
Discover folk tales from the Andes, in this lovely collection. Rich paintings and stories uncover the deep culture and traditions of the Andean natives.
Do you have favorite Peru books for kids that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!
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Gracias, Elisabeth. Que linda collection de libros para ninos! Enseno espanol a 4 ninos de edades 4 & 6 y me encantaria comprar todos los libros que tienes aqui. He visitado Peru, mayoramente a Cusco, Macchu Picchu, la valle sagrada, y el Lago Titicaca y disfrutamos Inti Raymi en casi cada cuidad. Las llamas y alpacas son mis animales favoritos. Gracias por todo que haces para informar de la cultura de Peru y fomentar el espanol.
How perfect that this article came up on my Pinterest feed today! My oldest is headed TODAY for Peru for a month on an outreach mission (we live in the US), and my younger four kids don’t really have any understanding of where she’s going. Your book list is the perfect thing to help them gain some knowledge about the culture, on their level. Thank you!
Muy interesante los libros estoy interesada para q lean mis nietos q no hablan españoly sepan más d sus raíces, como podría obtenerlos?
Solo tienes que hacer click en la imagen y te llevará a Amazon. Ahí los puedes comprar 🙂
Thanks for the wonderful book compilation you have done!! I am trying to improve my Spanish and reading children’s books is the way forward for me.
Hi! I’m the author of Kutu the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, a bilingual illustrated storybook about a ñusta the size of a maize of corn. I’m my book I highlight our amazing Inca culture! It’s available on Amazon but I would be more than happy to send you a copy to review. Thanks!