CITYBLOCK by Christopher Franceschelli


From the "Block Books" series
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 1 - 4
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The latest addition to Franceschelli and Peskimo's (Dinoblock, 2015, etc.) collection of very thick board books exploits all the possibilities of the format.

The initial foldouts reveal a question—“How will we get around?”—and hint at modes of transportation to come: subway, taxi, bus, ferry, foot, and helicopter. That would be enough for most board books, but the story continues with “What can we do?” and “What should we eat?” before the final 20-inch panorama of the city at night. Along the way, the design team Peskimo varies its retro palette depending on the image. A carousel is bright and lively, while the view from an observatory is more muted. Shades of blue and turquoise on almost every page act as a visual throughline, and die cuts keep young children turning the pages. The story follows a white-haired, spectacled elder (who looks rather like Albert Einstein) and two children—one white, one brown—through a busy day in a diverse city. They visit dinosaurs in a natural history museum, a soccer game, a flea market, and more. That they visit a bookstore instead of a library and shop for souvenirs suggest that perhaps they are tourists. Their day's menu includes common treats: an apple, pizza, nachos, sushi, and ice cream.

Children in urban settings will recognize this city’s feel, while suburban or rural children will be equally happy to join in the adventure. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4197-2189-2
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: abramsappleseed
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2017


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