Louisiana Children’s Books {for All Ages}

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Louisiana Children’s Books {for All Ages}

books about Louisiana for kidsHome to some of the most unique cultures, Louisiana has so many fascinating people, places, and events, and it’s never too early to start teaching children all about the great Gulf State’s heritage, food, and traditions. Spicing up your child’s bookshelf with reads about Trombone Shorty, the Muddy Mississippi, and Cajun critters are great ways to teach them about this beautiful state and even show appreciation for our way of life. If you do your own Pinterest search, you can find yourself going down an overwhelming rabbit hole of Louisiana children’s books. Well, we did the research, so you don’t have to! Check out our guide to some great Louisiana children’s books (for ages 0-18 yrs).

All Things Mardi Gras –  Of course, your NOLA baby’s book collection is not complete without a few stories about Mardi Gras. This is a giant collection that deserves its own link.

Bedtime and Alphabet Books for 0+

Snowball Rainbow: A New Orleans Color Book by Grace Millsaps – It’s not only important to learn your colors, but it’s never too early to start on snowball flavors too!

Today is Monday in LA by Johnette Downing – The author features a cultural culinary Louisiana dish a day in this poetic book.

Goodnight NOLA by Cornell Landry – A staple in any NOLA nursery, this book mimics the same cadence as the renowned Goodnight Moon highlighting the major places, foods, and events that makeup New Orleans.

Goodnight Pothole – Hold on to your car’s alignment! In this parody of the classic children’s book, Goodnight Moon, sleepy readers will dream of orange cones and chicken bones, blown out tires and downed wires, and so many more amusing rhymes in this funny-but-true take on eroding roads. “One can never be too young to learn how to recognize, Best New Orleans Children's Books categorize, and find ways to enjoy the inevitable potholes, sinkholes, and general neglect one many encounter when growing up in a city. Goodnight Pothole teaches young readers to do just that!”

Goodnight To Da Parish by Cornell P. Landry –  And, we can’t forget the parish! With the same sweet rhythm and rhyme, the author pays tribute to an often forgotten part of Louisiana. Little ones say goodnight to Rocky’s, the battlefield, and even those homes “down da road.” There’s even a Parish glossary to boot!

Night-Night New Orleans by Katherine Sully – Another sweet bedtime story filled with rhymes and NOLA attractions kids would recognize.

What The Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo by Grace Millsaps and Ryan Murphy – If you’ve been to the Audubon Zoo, this book speaks to you! No wonder the animals are always lounging around and sleeping! The colorful pages and humorous antics the animals are secretly involved in make for an enjoyable time!

Tigers A to Z by Mark Walter – “G” is for Golden Girls and “N” is for National champs! This book teaches young fans all about LSU while also testing the parents’ sports knowledge as well. Also, be on the lookout for Mike the Tiger hidden on every page! A cool read and engaging fun for both parent and child!

Goodnight, Tigers by Amanda F. Morgan and Jessica E. McDaniel – Written by two LSU alumni, this bedtime story offers a purple and gold experience learning all about Louisiana State University and its history with fun facts scattered throughout.

Louisiana Alphabet by Laurie Parker – An alphabet book for all ages! The author beautifully captures the culture of the state through rhyme and alliteration. It’s fun and educational!

P is for Pelican: A Louisiana Alphabet by Anita C. Prieto – Very young readers learn all about Louisiana culture and history through this fun book; the author even includes side-text on each page for additional interesting facts.

L is for Louisiana by Cecilia Casrill Dartez – This is a fun journey not only through the ABCs but also Louisiana!

ABC’s of New Orleans by Nichol Brinkman – “J” is for Jazzfest shirt, “S” is for stomper, “V” is for Voodoo Doll, and “Z” is for Zatarains! Not your ordinary ABCs. This fun twist and the colorful illustrations are enough to entertain any reader.

Louisiana Animals ABC by Ricky Pittman — Who knew there is an animal in Louisiana to represent each letter of the alphabet?! With beautiful artwork and short rhyming facts for each animal, this author introduces all of Louisiana’s wildlife and even pays tribute to all of the Louisiana zoos and Cajun names and groupings of the animals.

Best New Orleans Books for beginning readers

Ages 4+ and Delicious

Chef Creole by Johnette Downing – There was a man named Chef Creole and his hair was made of rice, his nose of okra, and his mouth a praline! This is a clever and fun picture book that can even inspire a fun DIY Chef Creole activity with the kiddos!

The Cajun Cornbread Boy and the Buttermilk Biscuit Girl (Cajun Tall Tales) by Dianne De Las Casas —  A new twist on a classic Cajun tale, this sweet couple shares a Southern romance with adorable illustrations.

How to Dress a Po’ Boy by Johnette Downing – Learn the traditional ingredients that go into making this tasty Louisiana treat! Downing creates a comical how-to guide in this book.

Gator Gumbo: A Spicy-Hot Tale by Candace Fleming – Using his delicious gumbo recipe as a trap, Monsieur Gator is missing some key ingredients to cook this traditional pot of goodness.

Grandma’s Gumbo by Deborah Thomas – A rhyming story that mixes all of the traditional ingredients and colorful illustrations to make the classic southern dish.

Take a Tour of the South with Ages 5+

Who’s That Tripping Over My Bridge? By Coleen Sally – A classic folktale retold, the three billy goats Gruff wish to travel to West Feliciana Parish, up the Mississippi River to eat their grass. But, there’s a scary troll that lives under the bridge they must pass wanting to eat them up!

Santa is Coming to New Orleans by Steve Smallman – Santa and his reindeer are headed to NOLA. They fly over familiar places such as Café du Monde, the Superdome, and Bourbon Street!

Fleurdelicious by Mary Beth Touzet and Renee Hemel – Written by two NOLA moms who are childhood friends, this book explores all of the great places of New Orleans while encouraging the young readers to find and count all of the hidden fleur-de-lis on each page. It’s fun and interactive!

Going to New Orleans to Visit Weezie Anna by Mary Beth Pisano – Learn about New Orleans’ unique culture through the eyes of a child. In the story, the colloquial language is creatively misconstrued by a non-native in the story. Don’t worry though, there’s a glossary to help anyone out!

Jenny the Giraffe and the Streetcar Party by Cecilia Casril Dartez – This is Jenny the Giraffe’s second trip to New Orleans as she joins a birthday party on a streetcar and travels down St. Charles Avenue!

Oh Sha’, Cajun Country and Its Inhabitants

Michael the Wildlife Detective by Michael Birt — What a neat concept! Written by a wildlife biologist, this book teaches children the different types of critters that might sneak into our home, how he detects which type of animal it is, and how to safely and humanely let them out.

Tanner the Turtle Learns to Swim by Christopher DeBenedetto — The author does a beautiful job combining swim safety with the swamp. Not only will kids learn of the hide tides and swamp wildlife, but swim safety is an important role in this story. The author even includes a note about it with rules for kids to follow when they swim.

Bayou Guess Who by Christine Henderson – Learn all about the animals that inhabit our swamps and bayous with this fun fact book for kids! This first-time local author creates a fun-filled guessing game for little ones. Can you guess the animal described?!

A Catfish Tale: A Bayou Story of the Fisherman and His Wife by Whitney Stewart – When a Cajun couple catches a magical catfish that grants them three wishes, they jump at the chance only to later realize they already had everything they needed. With beautiful illustrations and a Cajun glossary and gumbo recipe, this book is a great read with young ones and can definitely prompt some great discussion about gratitude.

There Was an Old Cajun by Deborah Kadair – Instead of swallowing a fly, this old lady swallows a gnat! It’s a comical twist that suits children of Cajun culture.

The Cajun Gingerbread Boy by Berthe Amoss – A retold classic plus a movable figure gingerbread boy to travel through the bayou with, this book is a fun one.

Petite Rouge by Mike Artell – Meet Petit, TeJean, Grand-mere, and Claude as they travel through the swamp!

The Three Little Cajun pigs by Mike Artell – From the same author who brought us Petit Rouge, these 3 little pigs have to construct houses in the swamp but must avoid Claude, the big swamp gator.

Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh by Johnette Downing – Learn all about the wetlands and its inhabitants as Pierre flies all over looking for a home and collecting special gifts.

The Clovis Crawfish Series by Mary Alice Fontenot and Keith Graves – This entire series is a childhood favorite for so many. The books are filled with plenty of French language and music.

Why the Possum Has a Large Grin by Johnette Downing and Christina Wald – He may be lazy, but this possum is a tricky one as he convinces others to do his work for him.

Down in Louisiana by Johnette Downing and Deborah Kadair – Learn all about Louisiana’s wildlife and their natural habitats in this musical counting book.

Cute books with New Orleanian themes

Louisiana Culture and Spirit

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by Phil Bildner and John Parra– Based on a true hero during Katrina, this book celebrates the spirit and culture of New Orleans before the storm and pays tribute to a garbage man who had quite the impact in the aftermath.

I Spy in the Louisiana Sky by Deborah Kadair – Filled with fun facts about the Pelican State, this interesting question and answer book teaches children all about the amazing state symbols and culture.

Louisiana, the Jewel of the Deep South by Johnette Downing – Paired with a timeline and song, this delightful read paints a visual of Louisiana’s history and heritage from the state icons to sweet and delectable treats of the south.

My Aunt Came Back from Louisiane by Johnette Downing – Through rhymes and pictures, children experience all of Louisiana’s traditions such as food, culture, history, and environment.

Cajun Night Before Christmas by Trosclair and James Rice – This book has become a Louisiana tradition! The classic Christmas poem is replaced with clever Cajun phrases, names, and culture.

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Louisiana by Jean Cassels – A clever story behind Christmas, Twelfth Night, and Mardi Gras down in New Orleans, children learn about the traditional beginning and end of important holidays to New Orleans natives.

Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews – Learn how Trombone Shorty became THE Trombone Shorty! The author credits his city for his success and young readers are engulfed in New Orleans culture and life-changing perspectives.

A Penguin Named Patience: A Hurricane Katrina Rescue Story by Suzanne Lewis – Patience is the head penguin at the New Orleans Aquarium, but when Hurricane Katrina hits, she and the rest of the penguins must survive with no electricity and increasing temperatures. It’s a cute story that touches on the devastation of Katrina and the heroic tale of a Penguin.

The Littlest Streetcar by Vernon Smith – Who knew there was so much diversity in streetcars?! Just because you’re little, doesn’t mean you’re not important. Little Charlie, the streetcar, learns this lesson in this adorable children’s story.

Born to Be a Louisiana Sports Fan

One Dat Two Dat Are You a Who Dat by Cornell P. Landry – If you’re a fan of Dr. Suess, then you’ll be a fan of “Fan…Fan I am.” The little fan wonders if he could ever be a true member of the Who Dat Nation.

Born to be a Tiger by Jady Regard – This should be every LSU fan’s first book! A father-son trip to Tiger country, future LSU Tigers get to experience all of the firsts as they tailgate, visit Mike, and enjoy their first football game. And, the author doesn’t leave out our girl Tigers either. Check out Born to be a Tiger, Too!

Tigers A to Z by Mark Walter – “G” is for Golden Girls and “N” is for National champs! This book teaches young fans all about LSU while also testing the parents’ sports knowledge as well. Also, be on the lookout for Mike the Tiger hidden on every page! A cool read and engaging fun for both parent and child!

Goodnight, Tigers by Amanda F. Morgan and Jessica E. McDaniel – Written by two LSU alumni, this bedtime story offers a purple and gold experience learning all about Louisiana State University and its history with fun facts smattered throughout.

Daily Devotions for Die-Hard Kids LSU Tigers by Ed McMinn – Combining sports history and faith, this book offers a plethora of stories featuring LSU legends such as Billy Cannon, Pete Maravich, Leonard Fournette, and more and how each of their paths are connected to God.

Learning about Louisiana for 3rd-6th Graders

I Survived Hurricane Katrina by Lauren Tarshis – a fictional account of a boy riding out the storm with his family, this novel does an excellent job explaining the severity of this storm to young readers and involves the levees breaking and separation from one’s family. This author also has an entire I Survived series of books (and graphic novels) that recount many major events in the world’s history.

Louisiana “Seasons” by Rebecca Ventre – This book describes Louisiana’s weather and showcases other interesting characteristics that make the Gulf State so unique.

My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt – Poor Tiger is constantly teased at school for her family’s mental handicaps. But, when she’s finally offered a way out to live with her aunt in Baton Rouge, she’s faced with making a life-altering decision as a dark family secret gets in her way.

Liberty by Kirby Larson – Set in 1940s New Orleans, two unlikely boys form a friendship that blurs racial lines and forms at the Higgins boatyard as inventors unlock secrets to help engineers build the crafts that might just end World War II.

Daily Devotions for Die-Hard Kids LSU Tigers by Ed McMinn – Combining sports history and faith, this book offers a plethora of stories featuring LSU legends such as Billy Cannon, Pete Maravich, Leonard Fournette and more and how each of their paths are connected to God.

For the NOLA Teenager

Night Jasmine by Mary Lou Widmer – Wildly popular amongst several summer reading lists for all-girl high schools, this story takes place in turn-of-the-century New Orleans and showcases the variety of social classes, history, and an epic, plot-twisting love story. This is a must read for any teenage girl in NOLA.

The Lace Curtain by Mary Lou Widmer – Irish immigrants travel to New Orleans to work on the New Basin Canal and are met with many obstacles and hardships.

Twin Oaks by Mary Lou Widmer – Set during the Civil War in New Orleans, this story has love, war, betrayal, and family drama – a true Southern story with a plot-twist to boot.

The View From Rampart Street by Mary Lou Widmer – Set in New Orleans during the 1840s, this cultural novel introduces young readers to the placage system of Quadroons, Creoles, placees, and mulatto mistresses. A realistic take on NOLA’s historic Rampart Street, this book presents an eye-opening system of contractual love and the varied societal classes.

Don’t see a book that should be on this list? Let us know!

The best New Orleans kids books


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Jennifer Gonzales
Wife to my high school sweetheart, Ross, and mother to 5 children: Trip, Conner, McKenzie, Piper, and Sutton, I am a born and raised Southern Louisiana Lady. I am a graduate of Mt. Carmel Academy, received my Bachelor’s in English with a concentration in Secondary Ed. from LSU followed by my Master’s of Education from UNO, and for the past 15 years, I have been outwitting high school boys as an English teacher at Holy Cross School. When I’m not grading papers, driving to baseball practices, or making grocery runs, I can be found cheering on my LSU Tigers, cutting up with my girlfriends, and attempting DIY projects around the home. I’m all about sippin’ some wine during the sunset while the kiddos play in the yard and the hubby works the grill. I’m living my best mommy life these days and am always happy to share the journey with others!


  1. Hi, I am trying to find out if there is any chapter book series for ages 8-14 with the storyline set in Louisiana, the author is from Louisiana, and the publishing company is also from Louisiana?

  2. No, but I am checking for a series for that age group. There is Cajun Kids Adventures book series. It is a new series with 4 volumes out now and a 5th coming soon. It looks like it would be a great fit for your list. It is available at the site or on Amazon if you are interested. Thanks


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