Preschool and Picture Books

Theme: Europe

Belinda in Paris - (ISBN: 978-0670036936)

by Amy Young

When Belinda arrives in Paris to dance ballet, her shoes get lost, and her feet are too big to find replacements. Enjoy the sites of Paris as you follow her through the pages in search of new slippers. What specifically French customs and sites do you see?

Gabriella's Song - (ISBN: 978-0689841750 )

by Candace Fleming

A little girl hums tunes she hears in everyday Venetian life: the water lapping, clothes drying, her mother speaking. Her original creation is picked up by various people in the artistic city of Venice; it travels from shop people to a gondolier to a “famous” composer who needs inspiration. Her tune saves the day for him and his music! Can you create an original tune that she might have been singing and hum along with the book?

Here Comes the Cat! - (ISBN: 978-0590418546 )

by Frank Asch Vladimir Vagin

In this variation on the classic cat and mouse tale, a Soviet cat’s pursuit of its prey among members of a mouse colony turns out differently than expected. What other endings can you imagine?

Katie Morag Delivers the Mail: Mini Treasures - (ISBN: 978-0099263548 )

by Mairi Hedderwick

When young Katie delivers five packages of mail on the isolated Isle of Struay, the rain smears the names, A great mix-up occurs! Her grandmother, who gets the only correct package, comes to her granddaughter’s assistance and straightens out the delivery mess. Enjoy the views of this Scottish island as you laugh at Katie’s misadventures.

Opera Cat - (ISBN: 978-0618096350)

by Tess Weaver

Alma, a cat owned by a Milanese opera diva, observes all parts of her patron’s life: her love of flowers, her intense operatic practice, and the scenes outside the apartment window. She secretly practices the singing and memorizes all the arias Madame SoSo performs. What do you think happens when the human opera star ends up with laryngitis and can’t squeak out a syllable?

Rechenka’s Eggs - (ISBN: 978-0698113855)

by Patricia Polacco

Babushka, a famous Ukrainian egg decorator, adopts a goose who smashes her owner’s painstakingly decorated works of art. Find out what the goose leaves her in exchange. Enjoy seeing the intricate patterns of the eggs, patterns that echo Ukrainian architecture and fabrics.

The Littlest Matryoshka - (ISBN: 978-0786801534 )

by Corinne Bliss

After the Russian doll maker/wood carver completes one set of six nesting dolls, they end up for sale in a small shop. The littlest matryoshka doll, Nina, falls off a shelf and travels far from her sisters. Read the story to find out how Jessie, the young owner of the set that is missing Nina eventually manages to reunite the doll family.

The Story of Ferdinand - (ISBN: 978-0142409527)

by Munroe Leaf

This little Spanish bull likes nothing better than sitting amid the flowers, taking it easy. Although he’s nothing like the stereotypic angry bull in the ring, when a bee stings him and he ends up facing bull-fight judges, who do you think is chosen to be a really tough bull at a regulation bull fight? Talk wit your child about the values of pacifism and the difficulties of being different from others in a group.

Germany (A to Z) - (ISBN: 978-0516250717)

by Jeff Reynolds

Katie Morag and the New Pier - (ISBN: 978-0099220824)

by Mairi Hedderwick

Look What Came From the Netherlands - (ISBN: 978-0531166314)

by Kevin Davis

Squiggle’s Tale - (ISBN: 978-0811826648)

by Andre Dehan

Strega Nona - (ISBN: 978-0671666064)

by Tomie dePaola

Activities for this Theme

Check your favorite countries for their children’s songs.


Print out and color some tulips and wooden shoes.


After you read Rechenka’s Eggs, try some activities.


Try singing and playing London Bridge is Falling Down.


Learn some German children’s songs.