Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to London. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about London.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about London, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Madeline’s Christmas to popular sellers like Mary Poppins to some of our favorite hidden gems like Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles.
We hope this list of kids books about London can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
All Aboard! London - From the creators of BabyLit®: Every area of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. This new board book series written by the husband and wife team of Haily and Kevin Meyers and illustrated by Haily, celebrates the unique qualities of each city while employing a fun primer element to tell the story. These books will have you and baby seeing the world by train and will turn story time into a globetrotting event. Perfect as a souvenir or as part of a geography collection for brilliant babies, the All Aboard! series will be pulling into your station next!
Mary Poppins Up, Up and Away - A whimsical journey over, under, and through London with Mary Poppins Mary Poppins is perhaps the most beloved nanny of the page and screen, and this charming storybook with ornate, laser-cut pages and delicate illustrations, pays homage to her preferred mode of transport. Based on the novels by Pamela L. Travers, Mary Poppins Up, Up and Away is an enchanting journey over the rooftops of London, under the sea, and everywhere in between. A fresh approach to a children’s classic, it is sure to appeal to children of all ages.
Madeline in London - “In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines the smallest one was Madeline.” Nothing frightens Madeline—not tigers, not even mice. With its endearing, courageous heroine, cheerful humor, and wonderful, whimsical drawings of Paris, the Madeline stories are true classics that continue to charm readers even after 75 years! Pepito has moved to England. To help celebrate his birthday, Miss Clavel and the girls pay him a visit. When his mother won’t let Pepito keep one of his birthday presents–a horse–Madeline is more than willing to help out.
Madeline's Christmas - Everyone gets her Christmas wish when Madeline’s in charge! Something is not right with the famous “twelve little girls in two straight lines.” All are sick in bed except brave Madeline, who must run the school, for even Miss Clavel is not feeling very well. But when Madeline finds help from a magical merchant, the girls embark on a Christmas journey that will surely make them forget their sniffles and sneezes.
A Fairy's Courage - Being a fairy is a lot more dangerous than you think… Ever since Rowan was transformed into a fairy, her life has been filled with perilous adventure. And when her mom is kidnapped by an evil fairy called Vulpes and his army of foxes, Rowan sets off on her most dangerous mission yet. With the help of her fairy friends—plus a tiger released from London Zoo!—she’s sure she can rescue her mom and save the fairy realms. But Vulpes is cunning and sly. And he’s luring Rowan right into a trap.
Violet and the Mummy Mystery - Join amateur Sherlock Holmes, Violet Remy-Robinson as she tries to track down a stolen mummy in this novel that’s part of a delightful detective series that’s perfect for fans of Robin Stevens’s Wells & Wong mysteries!When Violet’s cousin Agnes and her Aunt Mathilde arrive from Cairo, Violet is delighted. Aunt Mathilde is a professor of Ancient Egyptology and has discovered a mummy that may be the key to revealing the secret location of Queen Nefertiti’s tomb. Violet can’t wait to find out more! So when the precious mummy is stolen from the British Museum, it’s a disaster. Who has managed to pull off this crime right under the security guards’ noses and where is the mummy now? It’s up to Violet and the gang to save the day!Beautifully designed and filled with gorgeous two-color illustrations throughout, everyone is bound to fall in love with Violet and the colorful characters that make up her world.
The Beast of Buckingham Palace - Fly into a fiery and fantastical future with No. 1 bestselling author David Walliams, in an epic adventure of myth and legend, good and evil, and one small boy who must save the world… Illustrated by the artistic genius Tony Ross! It is 2120 and London is in ruins. The young Prince Alfred has never known a life outside Buckingham Palace – but when strange goings-on breach its walls and stalk the corridors in the dead of night, he is thrust into a world of mystery, adventure and monsters. And when his mother, the Queen, is dragged away to the Tower of London, Alfred must screw up his courage and battle to save her, himself… and the entire city. In a future of myths and legends, join the bestselling David Walliams and venture forth into his most enthralling tale yet!
The Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee - “India Wimple can spell with the best of them. How else would she have won the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and garnered an invitation to the Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee? India couldn’t be more thrilled to travel to London along with the rest of the Wimples. And at first, it seems like a dream come true; she reunites with her spelling bee friends, and they even get to meet the Queen! But there is skulduggery afoot, with some rather mysterious goings-on going on and a series of accidents that seem to be not-so-accidental after all. India has her suspicions about who is behind the duplicitous demonstrations. But can she solve the mystery in time to save the competition?”
Paddington at St. Paul's - Celebrate the 60th anniversary of Paddington Bear with this final classic picture book adventure from beloved author Michael Bond. Paddington Bear’s adventures never go quite as planned. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t filled with fun and laughter! When Mr. Gruber takes Paddington on a special outing to St. Paul’s Cathedral, there is one surprise after another. And the biggest surprise of all comes when Paddington is mistaken for a choir bear and suddenly finds himself taking part in a most unusual rehearsal. For six decades, stories of Paddington have charmed readers all over the world. Now another generation of fans can join the beloved bear in this brand-new adventure written by Michael Bond and illustrated by artist R. W. Alley.
Assassin's Code - To read or not to read? With a pulse-pounding historical thriller series like The Shakespeare Plot there’s really only one answer! Journey back in time to danger-filled Elizabethan London. Alice Fletcher is a stagehand at the Globe theatre. When her brother, Richard, goes missing, Alice seeks him with the help of Tom Cavendish, servant to the power-hungry Earl of Essex. Packed with a heady Elizabethan atmosphere of political scheming, romance and murder. The swiftly paced, suspenseful plot will keep young readers on the edge of their seats while giving them an insight into the history of Shakespeare’s England.
Escape From The Palace - Mission Impossible and James Bond have nothing on this wily bunch of rabbits who are pledged to protect the Queen of England—and the President of the United States—from a dastardly plot in this charming second novel of the Royal Rabbits of London series. Life is an adventure. Anything in the world is possible—by will and by luck, with a moist carrot, a wet nose and a slice of mad courage! Little Shylo Tawny-Tail is proud to call himself one of the Royal Rabbits of London, a secret order who live under Buckingham Palace and fight evil across the world. But high up in London’s famous skyscraper, the Shard, the horrible ratzis are plotting to cause chaos during a visit from the President of the United States. And when the Grand Burrow is attacked and Shylo is kidnapped, it looks as though they might just manage it! Can Shylo escape in time to save the day?
London - Hello, World is an exciting board book series that pairs early learning concepts with colorful, stylish illustrations of cities around the world. London can be rainy, or it can be sunny. Some Buckingham Palace guards are big, and others are little. Explore opposites through the sights of London in this gorgeous board book!
London Calls - Big Ben is chiming, it’s quarter to eight, and London is calling, we mustn’t be late! From the creators of A Possum’s Tail comes another fun, rhyming adventure. London Calls zooms past parks and palaces, monuments and museums—all the major sights and sounds of the British capital—at a pace that readers of all ages will find exhilarating. In this thrilling tour—by red double-decker bus, the Tube, bicycle, boat, and on foot!—a mother and daughter see parks and paintings and palaces, ride the London Eye and look out for ghosts in the Tower, shop, stop for tea, and make the acquaintance of Nelson’s Column, the Gherkin, and the Shard, not to mention a whole host of other characters who make London the rich and diverse city that it is today. Expressing all the energy, history, and excitement that London has to offer, London Calls is both a perfect introduction to and memento of an unrivaled city
Jemmy Button - A beautiful collaboration based on a true story. Exchanged for the single mother-of-pearl button that gave him his nickname, an indigenous Tierra del Fuegan boy named Orundellico spent many years in England in the early 1800s as part of a failed experiment in forced civilization. Less a biography than an attempt to represent this alienating experience from Jemmy’s point of view, it is distinguished by lyrical prose-poetry (“Come away with us and taste our language, see the lights of our world,” the British explorers tell Jemmy) and intensely creative and beautifully conceived paintings. On matte pages, Jemmy, a paper-doll figure with red ochre skin and curly black hair, walks naked through throngs of top-hatted and gowned silhouettes, all the same shade of blue. His guardians buy him clothes and take him to concerts, but the paintings show him always set apart from his companions. “Jemmy felt almost at home. Almost, but not quite.”
The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise: A Novel - Brimming with charm and whimsy, this exquisite novel set in the Tower of London has the transportive qualities and delightful magic of the contemporary classics Chocolat and Amélie. Balthazar Jones has lived in the Tower of London with his loving wife, Hebe, and his 120-year-old pet tortoise for the past eight years. That’s right, he is a Beefeater (they really do live there). It’s no easy job living and working in the tourist attraction in present-day London. Among the eccentric characters who call the Tower’s maze of ancient buildings and spiral staircases home are the Tower’s Rack & Ruin barmaid, Ruby Dore, who just found out she’s pregnant; portly Valerie Jennings, who is falling for ticket inspector Arthur Catnip; the lifelong bachelor Reverend Septimus Drew, who secretly pens a series of principled erotica; and the philandering Ravenmaster, aiming to avenge the death of one of his insufferable ravens. When Balthazar is tasked with setting up an elaborate menagerie within the Tower walls to house the many exotic animals gifted to the Queen, life at the Tower gets all the more interesting. Penguins escape, giraffes are stolen, and the Komodo dragon sends innocent people running for their lives. Balthazar is in charge and things are not exactly running smoothly. Then Hebe decides to leave him and his beloved tortoise “runs” away. Filled with the humor and heart that calls to mind the delightful novels of Alexander McCall Smith, and the charm and beauty of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise is a magical, wholly original novel whose irresistible characters will stay with you long after you turn the stunning last page.
Ruby in the Ruins - From beloved British storyteller Shirley Hughes comes a touching tale of unconditional love as a family puts itself back together in postwar London. Ruby and Mum cling to each other while they live through the terrifying London Blitz, waiting for Dad to come home from the war. Day after day they hope for his return — but when the moment to meet him at the station finally comes, Ruby hardly recognizes the tall man who steps off the train. He’s big and sunburned, and he doesn’t seem to be as engaged as he once was. It’s easier to play outside in the wreckage of the bombings than to stay at home with a dad she doesn’t know anymore. But when Ruby hurts her knee in the ruins, there’s only one person who can rescue her and make her feel all right.
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