Ava, Thea, Things I Love

BOOK REVIEW: ABC Of Animals In London

The Pink family loves books. We simply can’t resist them. Ava has been a member of the library since she was a couple of months old. We read a minimum of two books to Ava and Thea every night, and often more. But they have their favourites and sometimes Ryan and I get a bit bored of them, to be honest. So when we get a new one, we are as excited as the girls.


We recently received an absolute beauty of a book, called ABC of Animals in London: a completely unpreductable menagerie, by Cristona Guidone-Charles to review*. I love the word menagerie so that was a great start – it’s such a rich word isn’t it? It conjures up lots of images in my mind. And that cover – isn’t it just stunning? I love illustrations of birds, and flamingos in particular (if you type ‘flamingo’ into the search bar, you’ll see a potted history of my obsession…)  I couldn’t wait to get stuck in.ABC of Animals in London, a completely unpredictable menagerieWe snuggled up on Thea’s bed to have a read. As you can see, I decorated her room with an animal theme, which Thea loves. I knew she would be interested in a book about animals. Ava and Thea enjoying ABC of Animals in London


They were instantly captivated by the gorgeous pictures: I think good illustrations are vital for a children’s book, especially one like this where it is based on the alphabet, as it really helps the words come alive. Thea was really concentrating, which was so cute.

Each letter has an interesting story about London, making it educational as well as fun. It’s great to read it as an adult too, as I didn’t know any of the stories. For instance, did you know that a swarm of bees covered Topshop’s window? Or that when they but the Olympic Park, they had to re-home some endangered newts? Me neither!

Next time we go to London, we will be able to talk about the tales from the book. There is a handy map at the back, so you can find the locations mentioned in the book.

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As you can see, the beautiful illustrations continue through the book – I think my favourite is the penguin. Some of the tales are a bit more grown up than you would find in a traditional children’s book, but I think that it opens up some interesting discussion points.


The book was written, illustrated and designed by Cristina Guidone-Charles (what a very clever lady) and costs £8, which I think is a great price for such a beautiful book. At the moment, if you add it to your order from A Room In My House, you also get free postage. The website is full of lovely things, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I think ABC of Animals in London would make a gorgeous present for new parents. They could look forward to reading it to their baby when they get bigger (and in the meantime, it will look amazing on a shelf in the nursery!) I think anyone who lives in, or loves London would also appreciate it, as although it is a children’s book, it’s not at all childish.

*I was sent this book to review, and all opinions are my own, as usual.

Kids Love To Read - Laura's Lovely Blog
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


  1. Laura's Lovely Blog

    7th July 2016 at 8:34 pm

    It looks like such a lovely book with beautiful illustrations – I’m like you and get excited over a new book too and sometimes can’t bear to read an old favourite again on the odd night. I have to also what beautiful photos of you and your girls. Thanks for linking up to #kltr and sorry I am a little late this month I have been on holiday

    1. Becky Pink

      10th July 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Thank you so much Laura and don’t worry about being late, I don’t keep track! xx

  2. Zoe

    27th June 2016 at 10:10 pm

    I’ve seen this about the Internet before and it looks lovely. We aren’t far from London so maybe soon we can get a copy and use it on a trip (our oldest is 4). I’m sure I would find the illustrations fascinating too! #kltr

  3. karen

    26th June 2016 at 2:15 pm

    What a great way to learn about london before going. The illustrations are so vibrant, so good to illustrate our vibrant capital city! #KLTR

  4. Helena

    24th June 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Having relations in London I can imagine the children loving this book. #KLTR

  5. Angela at Daysinbed

    23rd June 2016 at 9:42 pm

    This does look like a fantastic book. I love books on animals and It looks like it is full of good illustrations. Thanks for sharing Becky and thanks for linking up to #KLTR 🙂

  6. Sarah HP

    13th June 2016 at 8:08 pm

    This looks like such a beautiful book – I really want to check it! My kids all love animals and we enjoy occasional days out in London so this could be really lovely as a bedtime story (maybe for my daughter than my twins as they still don’t have a very long attention span). Right off to check out your flamingo obsession posts!

  7. Bread

    10th June 2016 at 9:49 pm

    I love the design of this books, not traditional at all, looks stunning. #kcacols

    1. Becky Pink

      10th June 2016 at 10:57 pm

      It’s gorgeous isn’t it! Thanks for stopping by xx

  8. Educating Roversi

    10th June 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Aww this looks like a lovely book. We read two books before bed every night and sometimes others during the day. Its such a lovely quiet moment of the day. #KCACOLS

    1. Becky Pink

      10th June 2016 at 10:59 pm

      It’s so lovely to be able to share stories isn’t it, I’m looking forward to reading novels together when they are older. Thanks for popping by xx

  9. emma

    10th June 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I love reading more grown up books to my boy. he is nearly 3. we often look through my national geographic together and we learn something new together! #KCACOLS

  10. Sara Skillington

    10th June 2016 at 9:44 am

    What a beautiful book with those fabulous illustrations. Great to see a review of a non fiction book – especially of one a little bit different 🙂 #KCACOLS

    1. Becky Pink

      10th June 2016 at 11:00 pm

      Thanks Sara, it’s not like any of our other books so it makes a lovely change xx

  11. Bridie By The Sea

    10th June 2016 at 8:25 am

    What a beautiful book – I love the illustrations and it’s so unique to anything I’ve seen before! Love the pics of you and your girls enjoying the book too, lovely shots. Definitely something I’ll have a look at for my little one when she gets a bit older xx #KCACOLS

    1. Becky Pink

      10th June 2016 at 11:00 pm

      Thanks so much, we really enjoy reading it and I think the girls will ask for it a lot too xx

  12. Sarah@teammomlife

    10th June 2016 at 1:00 am

    This looks like a really fun book. Especially if your children are into animals and you are working on the alphabet. I love books with nice illustrations that are also educational. I could see this being one of my boys favorites. Thanks for sharing! #KCACOLS

    1. Becky Pink

      10th June 2016 at 11:01 pm

      Thank you Sarah, it’s a big hit in our house xx

  13. Mommy's Little Princesses

    9th June 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Oh my you weren’t kidding about those illustrations they are simply gorgeous! This book both looks and sounds fantastic. I also love the fact that it is very insightful and interesting. Xx #KCACOLS

    1. Becky Pink

      9th June 2016 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you, I’m so pleased you like it, it’s really beautiful xx

  14. Savannah

    7th June 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Wow, that book really is breathtaking. You can tell that a lot of love and work was put into it, for sure. I quite like books that are a bit more on the grown-up side. I think it’s important to use bigger words with kids-how else to expand their vocabulary? And, as you said, it opens discussion, which is soooo important for children. I’m glad to hear that you liked it (: #KCACOLS

    1. Becky Pink

      7th June 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks so much Savannah, I totally agree it’s a great way to teach them new words, I love it when they ask what a word means as it shows they are listening and engaging xx

  15. Emma

    5th June 2016 at 8:23 am

    Oh that books really gorgeous. The illustrations in it are simply stunning and like you say I think £8 is really a reasonable price for a book that you will want to treasure. I’m going to have to look out for this book. Actually, I have a nephew who is about to have a birthday, this would make the perfect present for him 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday 🙂

    1. Becky Pink

      5th June 2016 at 7:33 pm

      Ah I think it would make a great present, especially as hopefully his parents will enjoy it too. xx

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