San Francisco, CA

Children's Books Set in San Francisco

Amancay Tapia
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If your kids love reading or you love reading to your kids before bedtime, I have compiled a selection of books set in the wonderful city of San Francisco that are a fantastic choice for both children and adults.

Humphrey the Lost Whale 

Author: Wendy Tokuda

Based on the true story of a whale who made a wrong turn in the San Francisco Bay and found himself in the fresh water of the Sacramento River. Whale loving locals and scientists do their best to safely help Humphrey the lost whale. 

You can take the opportunity to teach children about the importance of looking after our oceans and how this year alone, seventeen whales have washed ashore in the San Francisco Bay Area while migrating north towards rich and cool artic waters. 

This is San Francisco

Author: Miroslav Sasek

This book first published in 1962, will dazzle parents and children alike with their beautiful retro illustrations of San Francisco. Annotations update readers about what has changed in San Francisco since the book was published. 

San Francisco’s Famous Sea Lions

Author: Kat Shehata

Find out about how in the early 1990s, a group of sea lions made their way to PIER 39, now a top attraction of the city and almost as popular as the Golden Gate bridge. 

I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906

Author: Lauren Tarshis

This book is suitable for children 7+ who will discover all about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Eleven-year-old Leo is a newsboy in San Francisco, a city he loves to explore.However, early one spring morning, Leo's world is literally shaken as he finds himself stranded in the middle of San Francisco as the city burns to the ground. The book was published in 2012 and it does a great job of mixing fiction with objective historical facts. 

Maybelle the Cable Car

Author: Virginia Lee Burton 

This is a classic children’s book suitable for 4-7 years and originally published in 1952, it has wonderful illustrations about the efforts by San Francisco residents to save the beloved cable cars from extinction. Perfect to tell children about democracy and how citizens can ignite major changes in the places they live. 

Fly High,Fly Low

Author:Don Freeman

This picture book with stunning colour pencil illustrations was first published in 1957, it tells the story of two birds, Sid the pigeon and Midge the dove, whose nest gets taken down one morning.

Fly high, Fly Low is suitable for 3-to 5-years-old who will enjoy a tour of San Francisco as they fly high and low with Sid the pigeon.

Journey Around San Francisco from A to Z

Author: Martha Day Zschock

The book was published in 2003 and children feel as if they are riding a cable car with a friendly pelican as their guide while learning about the main sights and fascinating history of San Francisco.

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