A Walk in London — Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: A Walk in London

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.


  1. Sounds like a sweet exploration to go on with the narrator. And kudos on the Julia Andrews connection to the book 🙂

    1. Thanks, Angela!

  2. Cute! I love books that teach kids about other places / countries!

    1. I really liked all the additional information. Bet you would, too!

  3. Well, this is a perfect choice in every way, Beth! I love London, and what an ideal way to introduce it to a child, or, to prepare a child for a trip to this fascinating city. Thanks for sharing it!

    1. Thanks, Jarm! I will re-read it before I next go to London

  4. What a perfect choice for opening day! And the book looks delightful. If you can’t go to London, you can feel like you’re there! I love the idea of the quadruple page illustration in the middle – that sound cool! Thanks for adding this geographically illuminating book to our list, Beth! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Susanna — yes, the foldout in the center is really cool.

  5. I always love finding books that take place in foreign cities. Kids are so curious about them. Great share!

    1. Thanks, Julie!

  6. This sounds delightful, Beth. It’s a clever concept and a good example of a story in first person. I will want to read it for both of those reasons.

    1. I think you’ll like it, Penny. Thanks!

  7. Reminded me of my time in London. Would be a lovely share with kids before a trip to London. Kids do love to learn about other cities. Great pick.

    1. It would be great even to use as a tour book with kids while in the city, except for the size.

  8. A favourite city & I’ve read the book & loved it! A great choice for PPBF!

    1. Oh good! I always like it when someone chimes in that they’ve read it, too! Thanks, Patricia!

  9. What a lovely way to take kids exploring a new place! We plan to take our kids to London this Christmas, will try and lay my hands on this book sometime soon before that! Thanks for sharing it here, Beth

    1. Oh, what great timing, Richa! I hope you’re able to find the book — it’ll be just perfect!

  10. Always hoping one of my kids will go to study in London so I could have another extended stay! I can’t wait to see this one!

    1. Hmmm… here’s hoping! I’d love to have an extended stay in or near London (preferably in my favorite village near London.)

  11. I love books with geographical and historical themes for kids and would be poring over this one for sure!

    Have a safe trip, Beth!

    1. Joanna, I’m sure you’d love this book. And thanks for the trip wishes! (Here’s hoping the snow here stops!!!)

  12. Sigh…wishing London were nearby…

  13. This so reminds me of my trips to London. I always love looking up about a city or place before visiting and this would be perfect for kids. Enjoy your trip and I know you will have fun!

  14. This looks like a great way to introduce the kids to London, at least until we can get there in person. It’s going on “the list.” Thanks, Beth!

  15. This book sounds wonderful. When I was in 8th grade as part of Soc. Studies we had to plan a trip, do research about the landmarks, make our own brochures, and keep a journal. I chose London. Oh how I wish I still had those artifacts- they’d probably be a hoot -either that or I could turn them into a PB. This sounds like a good read. I hope someday to make it to London for real!!

  16. I like the sound of this picture book. It is never too early to introduce children to another place. I know a certain little someone who might like this one!

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