London Art Chase written by Natalie Grant with Naomi Kinsman, illustrated by Cathi Mingus, and published by Zonderkidz (2016) is a fun, sweet mystery/adventure for 8- to 11-year-olds.

Three sisters, 10-year-old twins and a six-year-old, accompany their father and their Christian recording artist mother to London. The plan is that while their parents prepare for a concert, Mia, Maddie and Lulu, the youngest sister, will sightsee under the supervision of their nanny.

In the National Gallery, the girls notice a man removing a painting from the wall. To them, he is behaving suspiciously–looking back over his shoulder. He and the painting disappear behind an employees-only door, but the girls are not daunted and race down the public stairs, hoping to catch him coming out of an employee door on the floor below. At full speed, Maddie rounds a corner and bumps into a cellist, knocking her cello out of her hands. This leads to a meeting in the office of the museum director. Maddie apologizes, but explains she was trying to head off a thief. The director argues that no theft of a painting has taken place. And so the mystery begins.

Spoiler Alert: Paintings are being stolen, but it is not in the way the girls think nor is it the person they first suspect who is the thief. The story twists, turns, encounters closed doors, and twists some more before the real thief is exposed and the mystery successfully solved. For observant, artistic Maddie these twists are a huge challenge. Everybody thinks she’s mistaken or that it is not her place to pursue an answer. What should she do? She’s still believes there was a theft.

The Glimmer Family are a Christian family. Young readers see them honoring God through their decisions to be kind to each other. The girls’ parents and their nanny treat the girls with love and respect. When the girls make mistakes, they are gently and thoughtfully corrected.

The family also talk about and model the value of prayer. Young readers will see them praying when Lulu’s suitcase doesn’t turn up and before meals–even when they are in public. The mother tells Maddie that she prays when she encounters something in the world that is wrong and encourages Maddie to seek God’s guidance when she has concerns.

I’ve been to London a number of times and the book is a good demitasse of this incredible, marvelous city. Through the eyes of the Glimmer Girls, young readers visit and learn about  some of its more well-known sights—Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye. I thought the choice of these particular sights apt as they are likely to interest young readers.

I do have a problem with one of the illustrations. It’s minor, but as I said, I’ve been to London, so I have to say this. The illustration of London Eye depicts this attraction as having two-person open-to the-air seats like more conventional Ferris wheels. This is not correct. The London Eye, though also a wheel, has large, enclosed capsules that hold up to 25 people each. The text describes the Eye accurately.

I like this mystery/adventure novel. I think young girls will too. BTW, this is the first book in a series of four. The other cities they visit are San Diego, Nashville and New York.

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.)  Her latest works for children are I Get a Clue and We All Get a Clue, mystery novels for girls 10-13. For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website.