A Trip to London to Meet our Olympic Host

There is nothing like a trip to the host city to really catch the Olympics spirit! So that’s how we are spending the afternoon. In London. The pop-up version.

It’s all part of preparing my little Olympian for Friday’s opening ceremonies. Our list follows below and you’ll see some random choices. But since there are so few and I mean few books about the Olympics for his age, we are taking this opportunity to read stories set in countries participating in the Olympics. It’s a chance for us to sit with our inflatable globe and learn a little bit about the world.

Pop-Up London written and illustrated by Jennie Maizels takes this special paper engineering to an entirely different level. Not only are the outsides of the buildings illustrated but so are the insides. So this is fun to look at from every angle and just teeming with facts, flaps, and all kinds of moving parts. It really gives us a feeling of visiting this miniature version of London Town. Check out the NYT Book Review’s take on it.

And this classic is a pleasure: This is London by Miroslav Sasek is a child’s guide to London in 1959. With updated facts on the last page, you have the charm of days gone by with current information for my Lil’Olympian’s mind/sponge! It was fun for us to have both out at the same time, matching scenes from one book to the other.

We are also reading The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson. It’s about our favorite Spanish bull and introduces young readers to spanish culture while reminding your tots to delight in who you are. We’ll read one of my favorite books (about one of my favorite Italian holidays)Tomie dePaola’s The Legend of Old Befana to talk about Italy.

So often Crowley and I pour over maps together of far away places we’d like to visit together. We often do this at bed time, imagining which sites we’ll visit first, where will we find ice cream and the best toy shop? We call this our “Avventura,” the Italian word for adventure. It’s a fun way for us to imagine the possibilities in a very tangible way. The Olympics are a neat opportunity to reconnect with the world and the awe of what’s possible.