Author/Illustrator: Salvatore Rubbino
Publisher: Somerville, MA : Candlewick Press, 2011
Genre: Picture book, fiction/non-fiction
Audience Age: 5 – 8 years
Themes/topics: cities, London England, London history, London landmarks, travel, walking in the city
Opening Sentences: Hello! There’s me, and that’s my mom! We just got off the bus in Westminster – in the heart of central London!
Synopsis: Narrated by a small girl whose mother is taking her for an exploration of London, this book is chock full of informational tidbits as well as a fun story. The art is simple but filled with details on every double page spread. The story is a “day in the life of” recounting of their adventures, rather than a problem/solution story. The narrator shows boundless enthusiasm for everything they experience. The story is told in large text with some words in bold or in other fonts for emphasis. There are also factual tidbits in tiny print scattered all over the pages (thus my categorization of the book as both fiction and non-fiction). At the center of the book is a fold-out quadruple-page illustration of the Thames and the buildings along its banks.
Personal note: One reason I am featuring this book today, besides the fact that I like it very much, is that on one of the spreads, there is an illustration of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, with a sign that announces “New Musical.” This seemed highly appropriate for me today for two reasons. Last night was to be opening night of the new musical The Great American Mousical, directed by Julie Andrews, and Julie played one of her signature roles in the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, as Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady in 1958. (See Julie’s autobiography, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, for her memories of this production.)
Activities/Resources: If London itself isn’t nearby, a walk in any city or town, exploring its history and landmarks, would be a good alternative. Having a child talk with a person from London would be a great way to get “the inside scoop” on what it’s like to live in that amazing city.
Activity Village has coloring pages and other activities about London, England.
Availability: Readily available in hardcover.
Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”
Note: I will have limited internet access beginning on Saturday the 10th for a week or so. If I don’t get all your comments responded to, I will respond during the week of the 19th.