New York has been the subject or main character of many kids' books. The city is just as much a vast playground for the kids as for grownups.
Barracca, Debra and Sal, The Adventures of Taxi Dog (2000, Dial). The story of Maxi the Taxi Dog and the wild cast of New York characters who ride in his master's cab is told in rhyme. The Children's Museum of Manhattan features some of the book's art.
Fitzhugh, Louise, Harriet the Spy (2001, Bantam Doubleday Dell). Harriet wants to be an author, and to practice she travels her Manhattan neighborhood spying on her neighbors and friends. It's a great one to take on the trip.
Konigsburg, E. L., From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (2002, Simon & Schuster). Like most twelve-year-olds do at times, Claudia wanted to run away, but to somewhere warm, inside, and beautiful. So she chose the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1968 Newbery Medal winner.
Reingold, Faith, Tar Beach (1996, Bantam Doubleday Dell). The part autobiographical, part fictional story of eight-year-old Cassie, who imagines herself leaving her Harlem rooftop (the “Tar Beach”) and flying over 1939 New York. Based on the author's famous quilt painting of the same name.
Selden, George, The Cricket in Times Square (1970, Yearling). Chester the cricket winds up entirely out of his element when he unintentionally travels to New York City. He has to meet friends and figure out how to survive in all the bustle. Newbery Honor Book.
Swift, Hildegarde and Lynd Ward, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge (2002, Harcourt Brace). This is a classic about the relationship between two real-life landmarks — a little red lighthouse overshadowed by the massive George Washington Bridge.
Taylor, Sydney, All-of-a-Kind Family (1984, Random House). Five girls find joy and drama in turn-of-the-century New York.
Thompson, Kay, Eloise (1959, Simon and Schuster). This is the classic tale of a little girl who grew up at the Plaza Hotel.
White, E. B., Stuart Little (1974, HarperCollins). This children's classic about a mouse born into a human family was made into a charming and popular motion picture.