BOOKS WE'RE READING: Exploring London
London is one of the most fantastic cities in the world for families to explore. With a history spanning two thousand years, it is diverse, exciting and bursting with historical and cultural sites of interest. London's most well-known sights are concentrated within its centre, with many easily visited on foot for keen walkers. Thanks to the city's intricate and efficient public transport network, getting around is incredibly easy, if overwhelming at times. My book selection this month celebrates wonderful London, and are brimming with ideas on how you could spend a day exploring this vast, dynamic city.
‘Look Inside London’, Jonathan Melmoth + Peter Allen
Another brilliant ‘flap’ book from the clever folk at Usborne, this book is a wonderful child-friendly summary of the city. A bit of history, the most well-known sights and interesting facts for enquiring minds; it’s a great book to have at home. We’ve had this book for years and it’s definitely earned it place on our shelves.
‘A Walk in London’, Salvatore Rubbino
If you’re a family of good walkers, you’ll find a lot of inspiration between the pages of this book. Covering the major sights in one day, a little girl and her mother set out on a walking tour of central London before a relaxing ferry ride on the Thames.
‘'L' is for London’ Paul Thurby
An alphabetised version of London that feels very modern and is great for little children learning the alphabet and practising phonics. It’s a great summary of just how much culture is packed into the city (and Britain as a whole, really).
‘This is London’, Miroslav Sasek
Sasek is renowned for his charming children’s travel guides. His exquisite illustrations and quirky tidbits take us back to mid-century London. A lot has changed since this book was originally published, and there’s a handy update at the back with several fact corrections (e.g. where certain places have relocated to), but don't let that deter you from adding this to your home library.
‘All Aboard the London Bus’, Patricia Toht + Sam Usher
My son adores this book. It’s a collection of fun poems and Usher’s excellent artwork. Reading it feels like seeing London through a child’s eyes, which is a special kind of magic in itself. The family in the story ambitiously set off for a day out, using foot, buses, and the tube to cover an incredible amount of ground, including a visit to The British Library. I’m not sure how we would fare attempting the same itinerary, but it’s a joy to read others doing it.
‘Paddington: Pop-Up London’, Joanna Pratt + Olga Baumert
Paddington has such a special place in so many hearts. I remember, as a child, receiving a Paddington teddy (with removable wellies!) and a proper English duffle coat for less-cold Melbourne winters following a trip to the UK. To me, Paddington has always felt so quintessentially English, and so ‘London’. This book is an absolute treasure to read. While short for a story book, the pop-ups are huge and filled with detail. This makes an excellent gift to be cherished for years to come.
I hope you've enjoyed this post, and don't forget to share any of your favourite books in the comments below.