Anyway, this was my introduction to Shire, and little did I wonder that thirty years later I would be working on this extraordinary list. The book is now a potent reminder of a time past: the days before computer games and cynicism. It is out of date, and it is a world away from the books and internet sites that would now be its competition. But there is something wonderful about it. It talks to children as children, but it doesn\'t treat them as idiots. It presents the intricacies of London and its history without recourse to crude or silly humour, and the places that it recommends then had several years of welcoming eager junior visitors before they would feel the need to become \'accessible\', with the introduction of fun activities, video screens and the banishing of most of the exhibits to warehouses and old aircraft hangars. The London tourist organisations will no doubt tell you that London is a better place for children to visit than it ever has been, but I think we have lost something. I am now the proud father of a very little girl, and I think that I will press \'Discovering London for Children\' back into service for her. The trains aren\'t as comfortable as they were, and some of London\'s attractions have changed beyond recognition, but this little old-fashioned book will still work, I am sure. People always accuse me of living in the past, but I like it there; I just hope Sophie does too...
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