Europe, Paraphernalia

The best kids’ books about Denmark

There’s nothing like a good book to whisk you away from reality – so whether you’re planning a trip or just fancy some virtual exploration, I love finding books set in different destinations. And to start, I’ve rounded up the best kids’ books about Denmark.

Ancient stone at Kongernes Jelling in Jutland, Denmark with rune markings on - the best kids books about denmark
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I’ve visited several times with my daughter, including a trip to Copenhagen when she was a toddler and a more recent visit exploring Jutland from Legoland to Vikings.

And it’s always fun finding books for her to read or look at before we go, to get her excited for our trips and to help her learn more about the destination – it’s amazing what you pick up from a story, let alone the way books inspire travel. So whether you’ve got a toddler, a teen or any age in between, here are my best kids books about Denmark.

Books about Denmark for toddlers and preschoolers

Peep Inside A Fairy Tale: The Little Mermaid

I grew up on the stories of Hans Christian Andersen, and was reading them to my daughter when she was a toddler as well – with Disney versions of The Little Mermaid like this read-along storybook, it’s an easy one to start with. 

This beautifully illustrated Peep Inside A Fairy Tale version is great for toddlers and preschoolers, with gorgeous pictures and a few interactive twists.

Molly goes to Copenhagen

Part of the Molly and the Magic Suitcase series inspired by the authors’ own one-year-old daughter, the pictures mean this is another great option for preschoolers, although primary-school age kids can also enjoy reading it to themselves.

Molly goes to Copenhagen sees Molly and her brother discovering some of the main sights of the Danish capital including Tivoli theme park and the Little Mermaid statue. Ideal if you’re looking for children’s books set in Denmark. 

Hack and Whack

You can’t look for kids’ books about Denmark without coming across Vikings – scroll down and there are more ideas of books about Vikings for kids – but Hack and Whack, from Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon, is a great introduction for younger kids.

Lots of fun rhymes, plenty of details for younger kids to spot and a pair of fantastically cheeky toddlers causing mayhem: what toddler wouldn’t love that?

Although it’s not a Danish author, I had to mention the Mrs Pepperpot books which my daughter adored as a toddler – I used to read them as bedtime stories, with tales of the main character who’d suddenly shrink to the size of a pepperpot, trying to get out of scrapes. The author is Norwegian, but there are lots of Scandinavian touches which are similar and the stories are lovely. There’s also a picture book version.

Kids’ books about Denmark

Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales

If ever an author deserved two mentions in a list of children’s books about Denmark, it’s Hans Christian Andersen – and while the fairytales are perfect for younger kids, there are some gorgeous illustrated versions of his stories which are ideal for slightly primary school age readers.

This Illustrated Treasury includes several of the best known stories, including The Little Mermaid or for that story alone, this gorgeous hardback version from Disney is perfect.

Check out my review of the Fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen as well, for another beautiful illustrated hardback

Sticks across the Chimney

The story is a good introduction to Danish history, including Viking culture, and great for age 8+. Set at the end of the 19th century, the tale sees two children and their mother moving to a farm and overcoming challenges to survive.

But it’s the ancient Viking grave on their land which inspires the most exciting part of the plot of Sticks across the Chimney, for a finale which sees it being opened and its secrets revealed.

The Dragon’s Hoard

These stories retell the Viking sagas to bring alive the warriors and battles, as well as the magic and myths for kids. The Dragon’s Hoard is best for age 8+, but will also appeal to tweens.

A great introduction to Viking mythology too and background to some of Denmark’s long history, especially if you’re visiting some of the older sites around Jutland.

Denmark Unpacked

This introduction to Denmark is a lovely book for kids to start learning about all things Danish – there are details about the main cities, as well as food, language and culture.

It’s not an in-depth guide but Denmark Unpacked is colourful, packed with quirky facts and easy for younger kids to read compared to a standard guide book.

Denmark Travel activity book and journal

An introduction to Denmark as well as a travel diary with bonus activities – if you’re planning a family holiday in Denmark, this travel activity book is a great combination for kids before and during the trip.

There are facts about the country, including history, mythology and places to visit, as well as things to do with various activities and colouring in the book. With blank pages to act as a travel journal, it’s also a lovely souvenir.

Books about Denmark for teens and tweens

Older teens will love a slice of Scandi Noir, whether that’s watching The Killing on TV or reading best-sellers such as Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow but there are some great books for younger teens and tweens, as well as options to introduce them to Danish history and culture.

Winter’s Tales

Written by Karen Blixen, of Out of Africa fame, under her pen name Isak Dinesen, this collection of short stories was written under the Nazi Occupation of Denmark.

There are darker themes so the stories are better for older teens, but with settings conjured up from the author’s childhood, Winter’s Tales is a magical and memorable introduction to Denmark.

How to be Danish

Forget a bit of cosy Hygge, How to be Danish is part travel memoir and part cultural history, digging beneath the surface of Scandi cool and all those stories about why the Danes are the happiest nation.

If you want to know more about the Denmark of today, beyond Vikings and city guides, there’s food for thought galore.

Norse Myths

This illustrated anthology of Norse mythology is a gorgeous introduction to the tales and legends beyond the Avengers.

Norse Myths tells the tales of gods, giants and dwarfs, of magic and monsters in some of the world’s oldest epic tales.

Books about Vikings for kids

There’s more to Denmark than Vikings – and more to Vikings than Denmark! – but whether your kids are studying them in school or you’re planning to stop at a few Viking sites on a family holiday in Denmark, they’re great to add to the reading list.

Attack of the Vikings

A young boy, who wants to be a Viking finds himself forced to help defend his village – and discover whether he really can be a warrior.

Great for ages 7-9, Attack of the Vikings is perfect if your kids are in Year 3 or 4 and studying Vikings at school to transport them back to life in the time of the sea wolves…

Viking Invasion: I was there

Another great book for ages 7+, this story of a young boy during a Viking invasion tells the tale of the fight for York – so if a visit to the Jorvik Viking Centre has inspired a family holiday in Denmark (or vice versa), it’s a bonus!

There’s a Viking in my bed

What would happen if a Viking turned up in modern day times? This fun book is a great one for newer readers, as well as age 7+ telling the story of Sigurd the Viking who has to try to embrace life in a small seaside town.

It’s by the author of Romans on the Rampage for kids who’ve read and enjoyed that series too.

The Saga of Erik the Viking

A great story for older primary school age kids and young tweens, this award-winning tale of a Viking warrior called Erik was written by Terry Jones to transform the straightforward adventure of a warrior into a thrilling saga as he sets off to find the land where the sun goes at night.

Riddle of the Runes

This Viking mystery is written by a cultural historian so you know there’s plenty of accurate expertise – but it’s far from dry and boring as the female central character, Alva, with her sniffer wolf, sets off into danger to learn to be a detective.

Proof, if you needed it, that Vikings aren’t just for boys, it’s the first in series with beautifully illustrated runes and plenty of drama.

So you want to be a Viking

This fun guide to becoming a Viking is a great way for kids to learn more about them – and decide just what kind of Viking they’d like to be, with quizzes, quirky facts and some great cartoon-style drawings.

If you’ve ever wondered how to steer a longboat and why arm rings are a good way to transport your treasure, this has all the answers.

How to train your Dragon

One of my daughter’s favourite series (and thousands of other kids would agree). Are they entirely historically accurate Vikings? Well… not entirely.

Is it technically a kids’ book set in Denmark? Well… no. Is it a fantastic story? Absolutely.

For more ideas on visiting Copenhagen with kids, check out my family guide, as well as things to do near Legoland Billund with kids

PIN FOR LATER: THE BEST KIDS BOOKS ABOUT DENMARK

The best kids books about Denmark, from fairytale picture books for toddlers to Scandi Noir and Norse mythology for teens, not to mention Denmark guides for kids and plenty of Viking books for kids. #travelbooks #denmarkwithkids

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