Told in rhyme, the story is of Sam who takes a walk through the city streets to London Zoo to see his favourite animals. Unfortunately, they are asleep so Sam journeys home again. However, he unknowingly picks up a few hitchhikers as he leaves the zoo.
I am not sure what kind of irresponsible parent lets their child wonder the streets like that, but we get a beautiful sequence of busy London streets full of famous sights, and the hustle and bustle of diverse characters working and going about their day. And these streets turn to mayhem at the sight of Sam returning with his unusual hitchhikers.
The illustrations are reminiscent of the Mr Ben cartoon (for those old enough to remember), and the pencil and wash style comes in its own showing the busy city streets and characters. There are loads of detail in these spreads too, which means a child will find new things of interest on subsequent readings. The roughness of the drawings brings an extra energy and life to the scenes. The rhyme is easy and lyrical and fun to read out loud. But the text does not add much depth to the story beyond stating what happens.
Overall the story is cute but a little light for children aged 3 – 5. Rereadings will most likely rely on parents pointing out the rich and interesting sights along the journey of a cosmopolitan London.