Katie in London has been on my "Books for Littles" board for quite some time now -- I still can't remember exactly how I discovered it (quite possibly on one of my rabbit trails of "recommendations" from another book!), but it's taken me this long to finally look it up. Fortunately, our local library had both Katie in London and Katie in Scotland. If you've been a reader here for any length of time, you'll know that I'm a devout Anglophile, and these books are the perfect way to indoctrinate... I mean share... that love with my children. *wink*
These books represent everything I love in children's picture books. The illustrations are so charming and whimsical, yet accurate enough to give a real sense of the places that Katie visits with her brother Jack and her grandma (who is "the sort of grandma who likes adventures," by the way). And I do love the James Mayhew both authored and illustrated the books! The stories are sweet -- whether the children are gallivanting around Scotland with the Loch Ness monster, or touring London on a magical stone lion from Trafalgar Square (which Little Man pronounces "Fatralgar"). No fights, no bad attitudes, just charming adventures with stops at museums, art galleries, and famous sights.
Would I consider them successful with the younger set? Let's just say that I've been asked several times lately to fix Rosa's hair in two pony-tails "like Katie's," and we have been watching endless videos of bagpipers, caber tosses, demonstrations of the highland fling, and even the trooping of the color at the Horse Guards Parade (apparently fascinating to a 3 and 5 year old, despite its rather lengthy nature!). We've browsed through folders of pictures from my last visit to England (has it really been nine years?). But best of all, Little Man told me longingly that he hopes to go to England one day. And what do I say? "Amen to that!"
It may be a while before we make it across the pond, but we'll be reading plenty of Katie in the meantime. Thank you, Mr. Mayhew!
PS -- There are many other "Katie" books, mostly dealing with art, that I can't wait to explore! Mr. Mayhew has also written some about Ella Bella Ballerina, as an introduction to famous ballets. There's one about the Nutcracker that I should probably find for my Clara-obsessed three-year-old...