Books about Town book list

A selection of some of the brilliant books featured on our BookBenches, broken down by age range.

Baby to 3

That’s Not My Meerkat That’s Not My Meerkat
Fiona Watt

That’s Not My Meerkat is part of the bestselling That's Not My... series, which also includes That’s Not My Piglet and That’s Not My Panda. Meerkats have become one of the most popular furry animals among young children and in this book they get to meet a mob of the cute and curious creatures, with smooth noses and tufty tails thanks to the touchy-feely textures.

Make sure to visit the That’s Not My Meerkat BookBench to continue the fun! You can also win a copy of the book in the book giveaway.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
Michael Rosen

This worthy winner of the Smarties prize in 1989 is a timeless classic that is enjoyed by children of all ages as well as by the adults who are continually asked to read it again and again. Follow the family's excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of the bear. What a surprise awaits us all in the cave on the other side of the dark forest.

You can go on a BookBench hunt this summer with Books about Town – make sure you visit the We’re Going on a Bear Hunt BookBench! You can also win a copy of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

Age 3 to 5

The Gruffalo The Gruffalo
Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler

"A gruffalo? What's a gruffalo?"
"A gruffalo! Why, didn't you know? He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws."

And so begins the story of a quick-witted mouse as he encounters a host of predators who seem to think he might make a tasty treat. As he ventures deeper into the deep dark wood, stumbling across a hungry fox, a not-so-wise owl, and a slimy snake, spinning ever-extraordinary yarns about the scary, scaly gruffalo, he quickly realises that the hungry beast he has been talking of isn't imaginary after all.

The Cat in the Hat The Cat in the Hat
Theodor Seuss Geissel

When the Cat in the Hat steps in on the mat, Sally and her brother are in for a roller-coaster ride of havoc and mayhem! The Cat in the Hat is now available for the first time in picture book format. When Sally and her brother are left alone, they think they're in for a dull day - until the Cat in the Hat steps in on the mat, bringing with him mayhem and madness! This is the classic book that every child should have the joy of reading.

Dr Seuss’ beloved stories come to life on a BookBench this summer – bring along your picture books and read them together on the bench.

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant Elmer the Patchwork Elephant
David McKee

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant has been a nursery favourite since the book was first published and five million copies of the books have been sold in 40 languages around the world. And for good reason: David McKee's beloved story of Elmer is about celebrating differences and diversity and accepting one's true colours.
Destined to be one of the most colourful BookBenches on our Greenwich trail, the Elmer bench is a must-see!

You can also win a copy of the book in the book giveaway..

Age 5 to 7

A Bear called Paddington A Bear called Paddington
Michael Bond

Mr. and Mrs. Brown found Paddington Bear sitting on a small suitcase with a label round his neck with the words “Please Look After This Bear. Thank You.” Unable to resist such a request, Mr. and Mrs. Brown took Paddington home to live with them and their two children, Jonathan and Judy and their housekeeper, Mrs. Bird. The stories that followed about Paddington bear and his adventures have delighted children for decades.

Paddington Bear is getting his own BookBench this summer - join him for a marmalade sandwich!

Katie in London Katie in London
James Mayhew

Written and illustrated by James Mayhew, Katie's adventures in this book will capture your imagination as Katie and her brother Jack are shown the sights of London by a stone lion who comes alive and befriends them. The lion takes them on a wonderful tour of the city taking in such sights as The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye! It's a daytrip to London that Katie and Jack will never forget! Featuring many of the key sights of Britain's capital, this storybook has become a bestselling introduction to London, and a perfect story for children visiting the city for the first time.

James’s Katie picture book series has been making art an adventure for children worldwide for 25 years. His first book, Katie's Picture Show, was published in 1989.

Discover London like Katie this summer with our Books about Town trail – and don’t forget Katie’s bench!

Peter Pan Peter Pan
JM Barrie

The magical Peter Pan comes to the night nursery of the Darling children, Wendy, John and Michael. He teaches them to fly, then takes them through the sky to Never-Never Land, where they find wolves, mermaids and pirates. The leader of the pirates is the sinister Captain Hook. His hand was bitten off by a crocodile, who, as Captain Hook explains 'liked me arm so much that he has followed me ever since, licking his lips for the rest of me'. After lots of adventures, the story reaches its exciting climax as Peter, Wendy and the children do battle with Captain Hook and his band.

Peter Pan comes back to London this summer in the shape of a BookBench – make sure to see it before he flies back to Neverland!

Jungle Book Jungle Book
Rudyard Kipling

Set in magical, mysterious India, these tales of people and animals living together have appealed equally to children and adults since their first appearance more than a century ago. Most focus on Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves. As Baloo the sleepy brown bear, Bagheera the cunning black panther, Kaa the python, and his other animal friends teach their beloved “man-cub” the ways of the jungle, Mowgli gains the strength and wisdom he needs for his frightful fight with Shere Khan, the tiger who robbed him of his human family.

The exotic animals from the Jungle book are making an appearance in London – visit the Jungle Book BookBench to see for yourself.

Age 7 to 11

Treasure Island Treasure Island
Robert Louis Stevenson

‘Fifteen men on the dead man's chest-Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!’ Treasure Island is a tale of pirates, maps, treasure and shipwreck, and is perhaps the best adventure story ever written. When young Jim Hawkins finds a packet in Captain Flint's sea chest, he could not know that the map inside it would lead him to unimaginable treasure. Shipping as cabin boy on the Hispaniola, he sails with Squire Trelawney, Captain Smollett, Dr Livesey, the sinister Long John Silver and a frightening crew to Treasure Island. There, mutiny, murder and mayhem lead to a thrilling climax. London becomes a treasure map this summer with the BookBench trails – can you find them all?

Mary Poppins Mary Poppins
P. L. Travers

When their new nanny, Mary Poppins, arrives on a gust of the East Wind, greets their mother, and slides up the banister, Jane and Michael’s lives are turned magically upside down. Mary takes the children on the most extraordinary outings: to a fun fair inside a pavement picture; to visit Uncle Andrew who floats up to the ceiling when he laughs; on a spectacular trip to see the Man-in-the-Moon! With her strict but fair, no-nonsense attitude, combined with amazing magical powers, things are never straightforward with Mary Poppins! But she has only promised to stay until the wind changes…Make sure you go to see the Mary Poppins BookBench before it’s too late.

The Chronicles of Narnia The Chronicles of Narnia
CS Lewis

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is CS Lewis’ most famous and widely read novel. It tells the story of four children who are evacuated from London during World War 2 to a big country house in the English countryside. The youngest of the siblings, Lucy, finds a magical world called Narnia through a wardrobe in a spare room, encountering talking animals and mythical creatures. But Narnia is more dangerous than they imagined, and the four siblings are faced with defeating the cruel White Witch and saving Narnia from eternal winter.

Discover your own magical world this summer with the Narnia Bench!

How to Train Your Dragon How to Train Your Dragon
Cressida Cowell

Read the books that inspired the How to Train Your Dragon films!

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was an awesome sword-fighter, a dragon-whisperer and the greatest Viking Hero who ever lived. But it wasn't always like that. In fact, in the beginning, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was the most put upon Viking you'd ever seen. Not loud enough to make himself heard at dinner with his father, Stoick the Vast; not hard enough to beat his chief rival, Snotlout, at Bashyball, the number one school sport and CERTAINLY not stupid enough to go into a cave full of dragons to find a pet... It's time for Hiccup to learn how to be a Hero.

You can go on your own quest this summer to find the How to Train Your Dragon BookBench.

National Literacy Trust   National Literacy Trust © 2020         About us  |  Accessibility |  Legal stuff  |  Competition terms and conditions