James Mayhew

(Orchard Books)

Katie is visiting London with her grandma and little brother Jack. Everything feels very big and a little scary for Katie, and Grandma needs a little break from walking, they are all glad for the rest in Trafalgar Square. Like most children, Katie and Jack go straight to the majestic bronze lions and  climb on one the. But their utter surprise, the lion comes to life and takes them on a magical journey to visit the city’s most famous landmarks.

Part of James Mayhew’s famous Katie series which aims to introduces children to art, Katie in London was originally published in 2003 and is being reissued with a new cover for the Jubilee celebrations.

The simple story of the lion coming to life gives a platform to showcase the beauty of London. James Mayhew’s illustrations are stunning, with amazing detail, and through the pages, readers are treated to a proper tourists’ tour of the city. There is so much to see and spot on each double spread; Mayhew’s artwork really is one that needs time to appreciate fully, because it is just so intricate. No doubt little readers will particularly enjoy catching a glimpse of the Queen waving from a window in Buckingham Palace.
To compliment the story, the last page offers some further information about some of London’s landmarks and tourist attractions.
Katie in London is a wonderful introduction to the city of London, with plenty of facts dotted into the story. Of course, it is very much a topical read for the next couple of weeks but it also remains a beautifully illustrated introduction to London. It has a certain lyrical quality to it which makes it a lovely read indeed.

All illustrations © James Mayhew

Source: review copy from publisher