The third largest South American country after Brazil and Argentina, Peru boasts diverse landscapes and a rich cultural heritage. From mountains to beaches, rainforests to deserts, Peru is home to a wider variety of animals and plants than most other nations around the globe. It’s also an ancient country as testified by its many impressive historical monuments and ruins.
Want to learn more about Peru for kids? Here are three great books about Peru to introduce kids to this magical place.
Up and Down the Andes: A Peruvian Festival Tale by Laurie Krebs and Aurelia Fronty
Written by Laurie Krebs and illustrated by Aurelia Fronty, Up and Down the Andes: A Peruvian Festival Tale couples lively rhymes with vibrant artwork. Little readers get a tour “up and down the Andes” from Lake Titicaca to the city of Cuzco while following Peruvian children to the marvelous Inti Raymi Festival (Festival of the Sun).
The Inti Raymi marks the Incan New Year and is celebrated in the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco every winter solstice. Since Peru is south of the equator, June and July are winter months, and the winter solstice falls at the end of June. The storybook includes helpful notes about the Inti Raymi and other festivals as well as facts about the Andes Mountains. Your children will be mesmerized by this joyous celebration of Andean culture.
If You Were Me and Lived in… Peru: A Child’s Introduction to Cultures Around the World by Carole P. Roman
Looking for an exciting introduction to Peruvian geography, culture, and language? Then, you need to check out Carol P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived in… Peru. Focusing on kid-friendly topics such as school, games, family, and food, Roman introduces a whole new Peruvian vocabulary to kids. (There’s even a handy pronunciation guide.)
After reading this book a few times, don’t be surprised if your kiddos start asking for ceviche, papa rellena, or picarones (fried donuts)! Your children will gain new insights into Peru. They’ll learn what it’s like to shop at a textile market or celebrate Carnival by throwing water balloons. They’ll also learn about the history of Peru. Just be prepared for shock and squeals when they find out the favorite dish of Peruvian kings… fried guinea pig.
Lost City: The Discovery of Machu Picchu by Ted Lewin
Authored and illustrated by Caldecott Honor-winner Ted Lewin, Lost City: The Discovery of Machu Picchu describes the 1911 quest of a real-life Indiana Jones, Hiram Bingham. In search of the lost Incan city of Vilcapampa, Bingham makes an adventurous trek across massive mountains and through jungles filled with snakes and other wildlife.
But everything changes for Bingham when he meets a seven-year-old boy whose family lives and farms Machu Picchu. The little boy leads Bingham to the site. Although it’s not Vilcapampa, what the little boy reveals to Bingham will go on to be named one of the seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. Lewin’s kid-friendly retelling of history and breathtaking watercolors make this storybook a feast for the senses.
Peru for Kids
These books about Peru introduce children to the nation’s vibrant culture, combining captivating imagery with poetic prose. Each story makes teaching kids about Peru a compelling journey you’ll love, too.
Interested in learning more about Peru for kids? Or, looking for Peru family travel options? At Our Whole Village, we create transformational trips for curious families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. Check out our 11-day Peru Family Adventure now.
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