I picked up these two titles by British author and illustrator Rubbino last week. I remember skimming through his first book, A Walk in New York, in a bookstore display of NYC picture books a while back. But I never read it all the way through until I saw its companionA Walk in London last week.

We’re taking H to England this summer to meet the rest of Adam’s family, and since I love making family traditions I thought A Walk in London was the perfect book to get her started navigating through the city. Of course she’ll only be a few months old this time around, but I love the idea of her growing up with this book and always reading it and revisiting its destinations each time we visit London. The book has a lovely, simple narrative about a little girl and her mother spending the day visiting famous spots around the city, but loaded on each page are the kind of facts about the city that kids love. Where to go and stand on the exact central point of the city, the best place to wait out a rainstorm, how many servings of fish ‘n chips are made each year. And the feeling of the book, its illustrations and whole vibe, are so reminscent of Ludwig Bemelmans’s Madeline books that it is too winning not to scoop up. Even at 11 weeks H was into it.

So of course I then had to purchase A Walk in New York so we could use it to start our collection of books on our own local city. It’s a father-son story about a day in Manhattan, and there are again such great facts in it. We’ll be adding a lot of books about NYC to H’s collection, but I like having this pair of city titles for her.