You’d think there were things happening in London or something, with all the London-centric books that are out or re-issued this year! 😉 I’m not a huge fan of London, I’m sure it’s lovely really but I’ve lived in Oxfordshire my whole life so have Oxford for beautiful buildings; varied museums and art galleries; crowds of tourists and students; parks to wander round; and much, much more. I’ve never been a fashionista so don’t need to go browse the shops and I prefer peace and quiet to hustle and bustle anyhow. So London, to me, has generally just been a couple of tube stops on the way to visit friends or somewhere ‘central’ to meet people scattered about the country…
However, the books below are inspiring me to take MG and DG for a day-trip in the summer holidays (some time before the Olympics hit I think!) and giving them an idea of what we can expect to see.
The Dog Detectives in… Lost in London by Fin & Zoa and Monika Suska
Covers: Tower of London; London Eye; red buses; Big Ben; Buckingham Palace; Hyde Park; Trafalgar Square; St Paul’s Cathedral; London Underground
The ravens are missing from the Tower of London and Detective Jack and Deputy Poco Loco have until tea time to find them all. With the help from the Rat Riddler, they search London for the missing ravens by solving riddles like: I have a face and two hands but cannot walk. I count to twelve but cannot talk. This book can be enjoyed on one level by very young children while older ones can try to work out the riddles and guess where the detectives are going next.
Katie in London by James Mayhew
Covers: Trafalgar Square; St Paul’s Cathedral; The Tower of London; Tower Bridge; London Eye; Houses of Parliament; Buckingham Palace; a park; Harrods; red buses
Katie and her little brother, Jack, are taken to London to see the sights by their Grandmother who promptly falls asleep so they end up being taken on a fantastical tour through the main attractions by the stone lion in Trafalgar Square. Gorgeous art really gives the impression of the majesty of London attractions.
The two stories are a nice complement to each other, covering many of the same sights of London in very different ways. A good introduction to some main attractions in London for small children, which can then lead on to more detail in…
Paddington’s Guide to London by Michael Bond
This book is separated into short sections of easy-to-read information about different parts of London and is packed with colour photos of all the different areas. I’m not sure whether they actually took a Paddington toy around or if he’s been photoshopped in, but some of the photos with him in look a little odd to me! I suspect this would be readable by eights and ups but I’m guessing based on no practical experience. It was a very quick read for me, and informative as someone who knows nothing about London.
MG has been reading Katie in London at school so when flicking through the Paddington guide and seeing a photo of Tower Bridge, she told me it was in Katie in London book. We then read both the picture books together as she flicked through the Paddington guide to see where she’d like to visit.
I thought a Duck Tour sounded like the best thing to aim to take MG and DG on – seeing a lot of the sights from the stories we’ve read but not tiring them out with lots of trekking to different parts of the city. MG however really wants to go to Marine Ices (the picture of the ice cream sold her, the write-up sold me!) and the London Eye. They don’t look like they’re that close together so I’ll have to check to see whether it’s feasible to do both in one trip but we’ll try to cover at least one or the other (probably ice cream!)
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Paddington’s Guide to London by HarperCollins and The Dog Detectives in… Lost in London by Maverick Arts Publishing for review. I bought our copy of Katie in London. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.