METROPOLIS by Benoit Tardif


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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Thirty-four large cities of the world are illustrated in posterlike double-page spreads.

Each spread provides a selective guide to the tourist sites and important features of each city, including topography, architecture, typical cuisine, recreational activities, notable public artworks, historical features, sports arenas, and local customs. Tardif’s whimsical, colorful, graphically simple illustrations are arranged in a rough grid on the page, with a brief caption for each picture and the occasional speech bubble. There is no narrative to speak of, making this a difficult book for many American children to understand, and likewise for parents or teachers to communicate, given that few of them would have enough extraneous knowledge of such relatively obscure cities as Fez, Mumbai or Seoul to fill in the gaps. This unfortunately tends to reinforce stereotyping of people and places (Romans drive small Italian cars, eat pizza, and drink espresso; residents of Buenos Aires dance the tango, play soccer, and eat chorizo sandwiches). Most of the people depicted appear to be of the majority race in their respective countries. A brief glossary lists the few non-English words included, and endpapers show a world map marking the locations of the cities discussed.

The book is fun to look at, but it imparts so little real information that it really is not much use as a guide to different cities or the cultures they represent. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-77138-721-7
Page count: 72pp
Publisher: Kids Can
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2016


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