Books to Read before you visit London with Kids
Read about the fun things you’ll see and do when you visit London. I’ve put together this list of fantastic books on London just for kids.
Make the MOST of any trip:
To make the most out of any trip with kids you need to prepare them by letting them become familiar with what they will see and experience. Reading kids’ books set in London is the very best way to do just that! Get little minds thinking of all the wonderful things to see on the family’s adventure! Have them use critical thinking skills and discuss questions like: What will be the same as the way we do things at home? What will be different?
Don’t let this happen to you!
Some people go on a trip, come home, look at the photos and think….where was that taken? Which church was that?? Or even worse, spend time on a guided tour thinking, “Another Madonna and child painting?? Another church? Another bridge?” and have no idea what they are seeing or why.
One of my favorite things to do with my children when we travel is share the experience. If you like to educate your kids like I do you should check out my travel guide to London created JUST for the kids!
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Improve your trip AND your child’s intelligence:
We want children to remember, internalize, and make these experiences part of their core being! When a child learns something they add to their schema, or background knowledge, which will help them in their education until the end of time. Layering the learning by introducing information and then showing it to them on a vacation is the best way to internalize information. Use travel to get smarter and improve skills for the kids in the family!
“Reading is at the heart of all formal education.”
A GREAT way to get the wheels turning and introduce information about your adventure destination AND improve your child’s intelligent and academic educational success is reading. Stories with familiar characters or beloved animals will pave the way for learning – really learning about the new culture they are going to experience. Read kids’ books set in London or listen with an audiobook. Check out my lists for other destinations, too like Italy, Paris, Hawaii, New York City, Caribbean, Greece, San Francisco, Italy, Colombia, Canada, and Spain.
Need more proof that reading is valuable? A study published in the Economic Journal shows that ‘boys with easy access to books tend to have higher incomes when they become adults than their counterparts who grow up with few or no books by their side’ and “Men who grew up in households filled with books earn 21 percent more..”. So, read before your trip! It will be fun AND will make your kiddo smarter and wealthier in the long run.
Read at bedtime and have sweet dreams about your upcoming trip! Or download to an IPAD or Kindle and read on the loooooooooooong flight over. These are perfect for any story time before, during, and after a trip, too.
Capitalize on your child’s interest and incorporate those into your next adventure. Choosing a book on something they already like will help get them interested in your family’s adventure! There are literally a million to choose from, but don’t despair. I have spent hours and hours reading books, reading summaries, reading reviews, reading about authors, reading about all topics related to London SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO!
I put the best and most interesting of each category into my Colombia created just for the kids. It includes interesting facts and activities! Learn the weird, fun, and important in a kid’s language. Take it with you on the plane for some fun for your child on that long flight.
Kids’ Books Set in London: Read before you Go
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Kids’ Books set in London: Read mysteries.
The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency: The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford and Kelly Murphy
Any mystery lover will enjoy this book…a new Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys type. Set in England in 1826, Ada and Mary, set off to solve mysteries. Their namesakes are the Ada Byron Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, and Mary Shelley, daughter of the author of Frankenstein, make interesting friends who solve crime for the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency. Love that the main characters are girls – strong, intelligent and curious. Though written for 8-12 year olds, this book would be enjoyed by even older teens of 13-15. Lexile Measure: 0840 Length: 240 pages
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
When Salim gets on the London Eye and then doesn’t get off, his cousins Ted and Kat set off to solve the mystery of their missing cousin! This excellent mystery has the added bonus of a complex relationship between the cousins as Ted has a quirky way of thinking which is sometimes viewed as a negative but in this case his ‘flaw’ is what helps them solve the mystery. Interesting story with a great sense of ‘ your differences are what make you great’ message. Written for 8-12 year old readers but will be especially appreciated by anyone who has ever felt ‘different’ or anyone who loves someone ‘different’. Lexile Measure: 0640 Length: 336 pages
The Time Travelers by Linda Buckley-Archer
Peter and Kate are experimenting with an antigravity machine when they are transported from their time in the 21st century back into 18th century London. A villain runs off with their machine which is their only way home leaving Peter, Kate, and their new friend, Gideon Seymour, to find the villainous Tar Man and the time machine. Clever and very detailed explorations of life in the 18th century along with fast paced action will have your late tweens and early teens fascinated! Written for ages 10-14 and anyone who loves historical fiction. Lexile Measure: 960L Length: 416 pages
The Big Ben Mystery by Carole Marsh
One of the many “Around the World in 80 Mysteries” series, Christina and Grant tag along with their grandparents because their grandmother writes mysteries and is visiting the queen! The kids visit all the local sights in London including Big Ben, the Tower of London, and solve a mystery at the same time. This book is an awesome mixture of geography, history and culture and even has a map! The educational fun book gets the thumbs UP from The Educational Tourist. Your tweens and teens will love it. Lexile Measure: 730L Length: 129 pages
Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes by Judith Conaway
When you think of London and mysteries of course you think of Sherlock Holmes!! This is the perfect introduction to the great sleuth with three tales included in one book: The Speckled Band, The Red-Headed League, The Blue Carbuncle. Written for 6-9 years old. Lexile Measure: 370L. Length: 96 pages.
There are lots of fun topics to explore before a trip to London – like taxi drivers. That’s right, taxi drivers in London are really special. They have very smart brains! London Cabbies are the smartest people around! Their brains actually grow from their studies!
Kids’ Books set in London: Go on a real life scavenger hunt and solve the mystery.
Mission London: A Scavenger Hunt Adventure by Catherine Aragon
Head to the sights in London with your tween and look for the answers to a real live mystery scavenger hunt! I haven’t seen this one in person, yet but the reviews are fantastic. I’m ordering it today! Written for ages 5-12 years. Length: 66 pages
Kids’ Books set in London: Read about the sights.
Katie in London By James Mayhew
Katie has been exploring the sights for 25 years and now, finally, she is off to visit London with her brother Jack and her grandmother. She visits all the regular sights with the ‘talking’ stone lion from Trafalgar Square as their tourist guy. The art in these books are always a hit. Written for ages 3-18 years and is guaranteed to be loved by every traveler in your party. Length: 32
A Walk in London by Salvatore Rubbino
Lovely book to introduce the sights of London to a child. A mother and daughter explore the lovely city. This wonderful book is part of a series! There are titles on New York and Paris, too. Written for 5-8 years. Lexile Measure: 770L Length: 40 pages.
This is London by Miroslav Sasek
This book has a classic feel to it as the illustrations echo an earlier time, but what a fantastic introduction to the city. The city has changed somewhat since this was originally published in 1959, but you’ll love the updated 2004 version. It is part of a series with lots of cities so if this one is your speed, check out the others, too. Written for 8 and up. Length: 64 pages.
Madeline in London by Ludwig Bemelmans
The little girls in two straight lines are back and this time they are in London!! The girls pay Pepito a visit to help him celebrate his birthday by buying him a horse for a gift! Of course the horse gets into all sorts of shenanigans. Sweet classic. Written for 3-7 years old. Lexile Measure: AD660L. Length: 32 pages.
Your tween and teen will just love London. There is so much that those ages will enjoy. Get the entire list here – What TWEENS will love in London!
Kids’ Books set in London: Read Pop -Up books
Pop-Up London by Jennie Maizels
Everyone loves a pop-up book – all ages! Use this fantastic book to familiarize the kids with the sights they’ll see before you go and afterward to relive the memories. This book travels the river Thames and along the way, there are ppop-ups tabs to move and flaps to lift. FYI – includes some ghost tales which may or may not be something your kiddo will enjoy. Lovely interactive book! Written for kids ages 8+. Length: 12 pages.
Pop-Up London by Lonely Planet Kids
The pop ups include sights like Buckingham Palace, The Shard, The Tower of London, Trafalgar Square, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the London Underground.
What should you see when you visit London with the family? This is our list of the Top Things to See in London.
Kids’ Books Set in London: Reading for the little travelers ages 2-5.
Maisy Goes to London by Lucy Cousins
If your little loves Maisy, this book will thrill!! Maisy is on her first adventure to London. See all the sights right along with her. Written for 2-5 years. Length: 32 pages
3 Go to London by Oakley Graham
Panda, Fox, and Donkey are visiting London when they find an envelope addressed to the Queen. It doesn’t have an address (like she would need one??? LOL) so they deliver it and along the way they see top tourist attractions as well. Wonderfully written for ages 3-5. Length: 24 pages.
Noisy London by Marion Billet
***WARNING** This book has buttons to push that make noise which is sure to thrill kids and eventually make parents go crazy. LOL! The littlest travelers in your group will love this interactive book. Written for kids ages 2-5. Length: 10 pages
Goodnight England by Adam Gamble
If you are reading Goodnight Moon you’ll enjoy sharing this version with your little travelers. Written for the preschool set. Length: 20 pages.
Kids’ Books set in London: Read about magic and fantasy
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
(This is a sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.) If your kiddo loves fantasy, magic and all things…..weird…this story set in London will be a hit! Set in London in the fall of 1940, children are escaping from an army of monsters. This book has the flavor of the X-men with all the peculiar children having strange abilities. This is the SECOND book and perhaps best after you read the first one…which is not set in London. Written for ages 13+. Lexile Measure: 850L. Length: 416 pages.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
A list about mystery, magic, and London wouldn’t be complete without Harry Potter! Of course, Harry only lives in London with his miserable non-magical family until he turns 11 and gets his invitation to attend Hogwarts! You would have to be living under a rock to not have heard of him. Give in and read along with the kids. A really well written book and will surely be a classic for years and years and years to come. Written for 8-15 years old, but even adults enjoy. Lexile Measure: 880L Length: 256 pages.
Kids’ Books set in London: Read about animals!
The Courageous Corgi by Lea Herrick
This corgi travels from Wales to the USA. Portions of the proceeds from the sale of this book go to rescue organizations. ****Corgis are now a vulnerable breed
according to the British Kennel Club.**
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
This classic book about Paddington Bear who traveled from Peru to London was first published in 1958. Still loved by children, Paddington Bear lives with the Brown family and together they have wonderful misadventures. Written for kids ages 6-10. Lexile Measure: 750L. Length: 176 pages.
Kids’ Books set in London: Read about the Queen and the royals.
The Queen and Mrs. Brown: A Day for Dinosaurs by James Francis Wilkins
The Queen takes the day off and heads to the Natural History Museum. Your mom was right! You should mind your manners because you never know when you might have tea with the Queen!
Queen Elizabeth II by Vic Parker Get to know the Queen herself. She is passionate about her duty, corgis and horses!
Kids’ Books set in London: Read before you go to get your kids ready!
Begin layering the learning with reading! You’ll familiarize your kids with the flavors of London before you go. Lay down the foundation and build upon it when you get there! This helps them remember! Without reading you’ll risk bored kids who don’t understand what they are seeing. No one wants whining!
If your travels take you to London with the kids, check out the most important book you need for your trip:
Adventures Travel Guide on London JUST for KIDS.
I haven’t gone ANYWHERE traveling with my kids without investing in my trip with this book! I create the books for my own kids and take the rough draft with us to try it out! It helps the kids connect with the sights, remember the things you do, and makes the journey better all the way around! Spend $3 to invest in YOUR next family adventure to London!
Read MORE about how to enjoy London with YOUR child!
CLICK HERE – Cool stuff in London for TWEENS
CLICK HERE – London Cabbies have BIGGER brains! Learn how!
Happy Travels and cheerio!
Natalie, The Educational Tourist