children's books and an italian vacation

March 10, 2010

El Duomo in Milan

We have just returned from a 10 day vacation in Italy--so I apologize if I have been seemingly unresponsive this past week! I wrote my posts in advance, set them to post automatically, and haven't seen a computer again until last night.

We went to visit my brother who lives there and my other brother and his wife who live in Switzerland drove down to see us. It was a nice family get-together. We spent most of our time in Milan, but were also able to visit Venice and Verona for a few days.

You would think that I would have researched children's books that are set in Italy and checked them out and read them faithfully to Juliet before going, but I must admit that I failed miserably on this task.

I didn't find a single book and the only prep Juliet got was having Italy pointed out to her on a map before we left. We told her she would get to eat pizza and gelato there. That was it.

We didn't do a lot of reading while we were there because we spent most of our time walking around outside and when we came home, we went straight to sleep, only to wake up again the next morning and head out for more fun.

But having been so inundated with books her entire life, Juliet sees the world through a lens of storybooks and characters. Over and over again, she would see things and then make mention of a book or character from a book.

Here are a few that came up:

Upon seeing all the pigeons in the church square in the picture at the top of this post, she ran up to them and started informing them rather sternly that "they could NOT RIDE THE BUS!" She kept yelling and yelling at them and then ran over to me to make sure I understood that under no circumstances were they allowed to drive the bus. I couldn't help but laugh. 

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Later in the week, we visited Venice and she was enthralled with all the boats and gondolas everywhere. And while I am sure there has to be a children's book that takes place in Venice, we've never seen one. The one sailing book that came to her mind was Scuppers the Sailor Dog. She kept saying how she felt just like Scuppers riding around in his boat.

The Sailor Dog (A Little Golden Book)

Do you know of any books that take place in Italy? I am going to try and find some in the upcoming weeks. I'd love to hear your recommendations. 

Also, what books are your kids talking about? What connections are they making?

I'm linking up with 


Raising a Happy Child said...

I am so jealous of your Italy trip - and very curious how Juliette handled the flight and the time difference. We went to Germany with Anna when she was 20 months, and it was tough. My husband and she will fly again in the summer, so I am looking for some reassurance that it won't be as bad this time :)

Chels said...

Fun post! That is great that Juliet would link books to things she was seeing. Sounds like a dreamy vacation! ☺

Swati said...

We just read a book called Pippo the fool over at Tumble books It is about building the dome of a Florence cathedral, and would be good if you saw it.

artsy_momma said...

How fun! I am so jealous as it has always been my drem to go to Italy and even more so that you got to got to Venice! The dog book sounds cute :)

Brimful Curiosities said...

Welcome back! My kids enjoy Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola.

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

I hate you. A - Because you got to go to Italy for 10 days (really, that would be enough of a reason). B - Because you were organized enough to set up blog posts in advance of your leaving.

Okay, I don't hate you, but I am insanely jealous. :) It's not Shakespeare, but Little Einsteins Birthday Machine is a lift-the-flap book that explores Italy, especially Venice.

Kim said...

Sounds like you guys had a great time! I am a tad jealous, though.

Playing by the book said...

Hi Vanessa,

Wow! A trip to Italy - how wonderful :-) I can't think of anything off the top of my head but a quick google search comes up with this (for adults)

and this (for kids)

Just yesterday we got a book out from the library which isn't set in Italy but is by an Italian, and is gorgeous:

Her website:

Ashley said...

Wow - what a trip! I love her explanation to the pigeons and the book that corresponds! :)

laura said...

I loved this post - not just because of the books, but because it's also about traveling with a small child. I love that your little one was concerned about the pigeons, and in your shoes, I also would have to mention pizza and gelato to get buy-in LOL!

Janna said...

I love it when they connect stories with real life!

Oh Italy! If I could pick one country to go to it would be Italy. The food the sites the people-oh it's just got to happen:)

Anway, Mo Willems has become a fav or ours too. We like the pigeon and the hotdog one.

ChoxBox said...

Hi. Hopped over from Playing by the Book. Lovely blog you have here.

I am looking for books on Venice and Rome. Amazon has a list, am hunting around for those and meanwhile looking for other suggestions. Do let me know if you came across any after your trip. My kids are 5 and 10 and voracious readers.


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