Top 10 children’s books about London

If you love London half as much as I do, you cannot get enough reading about this great city that keeps us all hooked up. It was about time that we create a comprehensive list of children's books about London. Enjoy!

Beatrice and the London Bus book series

London books Beatrice and the London Bus London based Italian author Francesca Lombardo brings enjoyment, hope, courage, determination and urban culture to young people with her newly released children's book series - Beatrice and the London Bus. Her stories resemble a modern London take of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with lots of humorous, inspiring and empowering contemporary fairy tale features and a classic feel for children and parents alike. It all kicks off from Beatrice's dream of becoming a London bus Driver. In the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland it's great to see another child heroine taking on a traditionally male task. She shows personality and determination, hence she is setting an example for young girls. The book series also encourages children to develop the fundamental aspects of social responsibility making them familiar with the aspects of being part of an important community, like the one of a big city like London. The book series has even received an endorsement from the Culture team at the Mayor of London's office. They said: “We very much enjoyed the Author’s story idea and we really appreciate her enthusiasm and passion for London. We wish the very best of success to this wonderful story.” The Author is not stopping there and is currently writing BOOK 4 and 5 which will see Beatrice and the London Bus travelling through Paris, Rome, New York, Las Vegas, LA and other countries around the world (China, India). We cannot wait to read those stories! Francesca is also working in partnership with some London Children Charities for a series of activities related to the books. Beatrice and the London Bus book series is available from Amazon and  www.beatriceandthelondonbus.co.uk  

Magical Mabel's Adventures in The Tower of London by Wendy Clark

book london dogs Created by prolific author, Wendy Clark, ‘Magical Mabel's Adventure In The Tower Of London’ uses two of the author’s feisty real-life dogs as inspiration for a thrilling new children’s book. Mabel and Alfie are off to the Tower of London, inviting children along with them to learn about respecting historical places and other people’s property. With a motorbike, “invisibility collar” and a whole host of other zany twists, it’s no wonder Clark’s work is unique within the children’s literature marketplace. While many children’s authors create books that give their young audience nothing but a quick thrill, Wendy Clark is going above and beyond her calling to fuse engrossing adventures with an abundance of life lessons. Her ‘The Adventures of Mabel’ series has this philosophy at its very core; a bold mandate to inspire children and prepare them to go forth into the world with confidence. The important moral at the end of the story will encourage children to respect other people's property and to stay safe. Although the book is suitable for 5+ children, my 9 year old son Diego absolutely loves this book because it is a story told from the dog's perspective and hence it's quite unique. Magical Mabel's Adventure In The Tower Of London is available from Amazon.    

Hyde Park Squirrels by Nick Croydon

hyde park squirrels Luke book Everybody in London is familiar with the squirrels who populate all parks. Well, now they are the stars of a new book series for children. The Hyde Park Squirrels are particularly friendly because they are used to being fed by humans passing by. There’s also a project to bring back Red Squirrels to Hyde Park associated with this books. The Hyde Park Squirrels series written by Nick Croydon and published by Hyde Park Editions delivers four magnificently crafted adventures set against rich and detailed artwork by Petra Brown, which is on occasion, gentle, warm and intimate but with a turn of a page, can lead the reader to dramatic panoramas. The story is about squirrels Lucas and Holly Bushytail who were born in the New Forest but were separated whilst still babies. Their parents, who were very poor, went to America to find work. After promising to send for their children when they were settled, the parents were not heard from again. Holly was sent to live with her great-uncle, George MacDonald, who lived in Hyde Park in the centre of London. Luke remained in the forest with his uncle Peter and Aunt Sally. Neither young Holly nor Luke knew of each other, until one day… hyde park squirrels Luke1 book In the first of this new series for children, Luke leaves the cosy warmth of his life in the country and heads to London in search of his long lost sister. Along the way, Luke faces the cold, the wind and the rain and a less than well-meaning cat. But with the help of some new friends he is delighted to finally find his Uncle George – General MacDonald – living in a big palace in Hyde Park. In the second book, Luke is reunited with his sister, Holly and their adventures in Hyde Park begin. Now a lieutenant in Uncle George’s regiment, Luke is thrust into action when a gang of rats plot to take over the palace and the siblings must join forces with their new friends to defeat them. hyde park squirrels Luke & Holly book An amazing children’s picture book that brings together family love and action. Children love action! It keeps you glued to the pages until you get to the last page. A real page-turner. A travel story filled with all the things that make life interesting: challenges, helpful people, new cities and different ways to move from a place to another. The best thing is that everything is seen from the perspective of a little squirrel. All is proportionate and tailor-made. This book represents what a child probably thinks when finding himself in an unknown place. hyde park squirrels Luke2 bookThe Hyde Park Squirrels‘ are very good reads and probably one of the best collection published this year. I liked the engaging stories and also the powerful illustrations because they’re not simple and not so common. They’re absolutely gorgeous to look at and full of details.  

Katie in London by James Mayhew

London books Katie in London by James Mayhew book This beautifully illustrated story by James Mayhew follows Katie wherever she goes, and soon wonderful things begin to happen as she and Jack set out on an amazing and magical tour of London with a most unusual guide. The book is suitable for 6+ children and is an ideal introduction if you're planning a sightseeing trip to London. Katie and her brother Jack think Grandma's tour sounds a bit dull, but in Trafalgar Square they make a magical friend who takes them from the London Eye, down the river and on to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard. There are lots of interesting facts about famous landmarks, too!

 

The Ladybird Book of London by John Berry

London books The Ladybird Book of London First published in 1961, this Ladybird hardback book is packed with information about Britain's capital. It illustrates the story of London, her sights and history, with twenty-four beautiful full-page pictures. Starting from Trafalgar Square, it takes you through famous streets to see historic buildings.  

See inside great cities

London books see inside great cities Usbourne Lift the flaps to discover famous landmarks and amazing facts about London. Explore soaring skyscrapers, elegant cathedrals and bustling shopping streets – and discover fascinating facts and details beneath the flaps. London books see inside book With internet links to websites with virtual tours and panoramas. An exciting flap book for older children full of detailed city illustrations.  

Horrible Histories Gruesome Guides - London by Terry Deary

London books horrible histories Horrible Histories Gruesome Guide: London takes readers on a gore-tastic tour of the streets of London, exposing all of its most scurrilous secrets. With this book tourists can plot their path to the past - take a trip to the terrifying Tower, dip into the ruthless River Thames (London's largest toilet!) and peer into creepy St Paul's Cathedral. If you want to know all sorts of horrible facts about London such as What caused the Great Stink of 1858? Why the flying dustmen were feared? Who ate a tosher for tea? this is s This book is ideal for Horrible Histories fans!  

A Different Kettle of Fish by Autistic Physics Student Michael Barton about a Daytrip to London from Most Unique Perspective

book collage london a different kettle of fish Anybody who has come across autistic people would know how special they are especially in their relationship with the world around. A new book called A Different Kettle of Fish is now shedding some light into the world of a high functioning and highly intelligent young man who documents his daytrip to London from his own unique perspective. Written from the heart and experience of Michael Barton, A Different Kettle of Fish takes readers on a trip from the author’s familiar university surroundings to the weird and wonderful world of central London. With the author’s rare and fascinating neurological makeup at play, readers are enjoying a first-hand account of life from a radically different perspective. It is certainly unique and I have never read anything like this before. This book is a good read both for parents and children alike and should be compulsory reading in school, giving you a great insight not just into the life of autistic people but also to make you realise how things can be seen differently by people with disabilities. It is also a book about London seen through the eyes of a special young man who does not take things for granted. You will experience a London as you have never seen it before! Barton’s quirky and comic illustrations bring to life the journey from the comfort of his familiar university surroundings into the hectic bustle of central London.   A fun and enlightening read for friends, family, caring professionals and anyone interested in an alternative viewpoint on the world. Sure to strike a chord with other day trippers on the autism spectrum. To most, Central London is a thick-soup of congestion, tourists and overwhelming options. To Michael Barton, one of 700,000 people in the UK living with autism, a daytrip to the UK’s capital is awash with metaphors, hidden messages and contradictions. In his book, Barton documents this tumultuous day to give readers an opportunity to see London and  life through an autistic person’s eyes using his hallmark wit and wisdom as well as quirky and funny illustrations. A Different Kettle of Fish: A Day in the Life of a Physics Student with Autism is available from Amazon.    

LONDON FOR CHILDREN

Did you know that a polar bear used to fish near the Tower of London? Or that ice bowling on the frozen Thames was once a popular pastime? LONDON FOR CHILDREN by Matteo Pericoli, published today by MacMillan Children’s Books, must be the best book about London I have come across in years of reviewing books about this amazing European Capital. My 5 year old son commented ‘Mum, when will I be able to read it all on my own?’. This beautifully illustrated book is a fascinating, fact-filled journey through London that helps you and your child discover the stories and secrets of one of the largest cities in the world. It’s a great example of a book that CANNOT be replaced by any electronic devices such as iPad, Kindle. You’ve got to have this books in your hands to appreciate the beauty of the illustrations. Matteo’s astonishing project, to illustrate a continuous 20 mile journey along the north and south banks of the Thames, took him two years to complete. Now the two 37-foot-long pen-and-ink drawings can be enjoyed in vibrant colour, with eye-opening (and eye-watering) facts; from the battles of Roman London and the Princes in the Tower, to the Gunpowder Plot and the great Victorian stink! Children’s Age Range 3+

Whizzy Wheels: London Bus

Whizzy Wheels: London Bus, illustrated by Marion Billet, is a book on wheels – the perfect souvenir (even if you are a London Mum or London child)! This book is suitable for children of any age and mums will love it too. My 5 year old son can read it by himself and loves the whizzy wheels. Young children just love things that go, and here is a book they will spend hours pushing along the floor as well as reading! Follow the red bus around the streets of London visiting the sights, with an extra detail to spot on every page. Then close the book and push it along on its four moving wheels and go on your own journey! The perfect way for young visitors to London to remember their trip. www.panmacmillan.com
                                                                         

About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London http://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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