Books for Iceland
One of the things I love about family travel is the opportunity to expand my kids’ knowledge of the places we visit. I’ve always said that travel is the best kind of education and we’ve been privileged to learn about some pretty amazing places over the years. Preparing with good quality children’s literature is something we strive to do before every trip. So with our adventure in Iceland just around the corner, I decided it was time to pull together books we already own, visit the library and search the internet for the best children’s books regarding all things Iceland... Leif Erickson, Vikings, Mythology, Icelandic horses, puffins and the Northern Lights. If you’re looking at this list, there’s a good chance you’re doing the same. Let me know if you have any favorites that I’ve left out.
Leif the Lucky
By Ingri d’Aulaire Edgar Parin d’Aulaire
Like all of the excellent biographies by Ingri d’Aulaire and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire, Leif the Lucky is rich with informative text and captivating illustrations. If I had to pick one book to learn about Leif Erickson with my boys, this would be the one. We bought this book years ago when our youngest worked on a school project about the famous explorer. Now we’re happy to be rereading it in preparation for our upcoming trip to Iceland. I highly recommend it to anyone planning a trip (or not) to Iceland.
By Shannon Knudsen
A quick read at just 48 pages, this little biography is perfect for understanding some basic facts about Leif’s life and accomplishments.
National Geographic Kids Everything Vikings
by Nadia Higgins
This National Geographic for kids is a fun book to read and explore through pictures, maps, and little pieces of interesting facts. It covers Viking history through Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Americas.
You Wouldn’t Want to be a Viking Explorer
By Andrew Langley
I love these little picture books in the “You Wouldn’t Want to be…” series. They are perfect for primary aged children with their fun illustrations and silly humor. This one also includes a map and timeline of Viking history.
Viking – DK Eyewitness Series
By Susan M. Margeson
The DK Eyewitness books are a staple for nonfiction books for kids. The beautiful photography of this one includes lots of interesting information about Viking ships, weapons, memorial stones and more. The unique integration of pictures with text makes for an enjoyable learning experience for anyone.
Hildur, Queen of the Elves:
And Other Icelandic Folk Tales
By J. M. Bedell
No Icelandic book list for kids would be complete without a selection on mythology. Understanding the culture, you are visiting through the stories that have been handed down century by century is vital to understanding the land and people. Although we haven’t read this one yet, our copy from Amazon is on its way. After lots of research, this seems to be the best one for kids unique to Iceland.
By Heather Angel
If your trip to Iceland will be during August or September when you’ll have the chance to see puffins up close during their nesting season, be sure to include a book about Puffins on your reading list. I understand the island just off of the South Coast of Iceland has an excellent viewing area and recovery program for puffins.
My Horse from the North
by Bruce Mcmillan
Every trip to Iceland is sure to have some experience with the famed Icelandic horses. My Horse from the North is a lovely book with photos and information educating the young reader about these equestrian creatures and the world they call home.
By Nick Hunter
This book looks at the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights, exploring what they are, what they look like, where they can be seen, and how they are caused. Readers also learn about the significance of solar storms, the Southern Lights, what people thought about auroras in the past, and how they are explored today. A fun activity is provided along with advice on viewing auroras. Beautiful photographs and simple text help to engage readers and aid their understanding.
And don't forget these other topics worth exploring… volcanoes, glaciers and geyers.
Have a great time on your Iceland adventure!