For cozy winter mornings: A kids’ biking and city living booklist

Left: The kids can’t wait to get home from the library to start reading, even though it’s only six blocks away. They usually take out their books and dive right in.
Right photo: Not much room left on my lap these days, but we’ll keep reading together through this season.

[Note: Our family biking columnist Shannon Johnson is just a few weeks from her due date and has been taking it a bit more slowly. We are grateful that she’s still writing anything at this point! Please wish her luck and health. – Jonathan]

As I enter the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I recognize that I will, alas, be off the bike for a while. Instead, I’ll be spending a lot of time rocking a newborn and reading stories to my older children. We’ve been searching through the library for good biking books and books that champion city living, especially as I seek to prepare my kids to bike, use public transit independently, and to normalize their ability to explore and travel around town on their own. Personally I’ve always loved books about cities as much as I love cities themselves: there’s something exciting to explore around every corner. So many people. So many shops. So many adventures waiting to be had. For the next few months, we’ll have to do most of our adventures in our imaginations, but it’s a delightful way to take a trip when one has to spend time at rest.


Screenshot of War on Cars booklist at

While we assemble our own list of favorite books, here’s a list put out by our friends at The War on Cars podcast to get you started.

We’ve already enjoyed a few books on this list, especially the one about Jane Jacobs (who might just be one of my new favorite people, thanks to a children’s picture book!), but most of these titles are new-to-us (so I can’t vouch for them personally, yet). We’ll be checking them out from the library, and thought other biking families might like to join us on this winter reading journey.

Please let us know if you have any favorite biking or city life children’s books. We have a lot of cozy mornings ahead to read together.

Shannon Johnson (Family Biking Columnist)

Shannon Johnson (Family Biking Columnist)

Shannon is a 36-year-old mom of  five who lives in downtown Hillsboro. Her column appears weekly. Contact her via

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Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)

Best wishes Shannon, a late December baby maybe! Enjoy those books and some well-deserved hibernation.

Beau McDermott
2 years ago

Luck and Health, Shannon! 😉