Rhyming text and brilliant multimedia collage combine to follow a girl’s journey through her beloved city.
Part concept book, part love letter to urban beauty, Murray and Collier’s collaboration highlights an African-American girl’s observations about the many shapes she sees in and around her city. In his illustrator’s note, Collier tells readers that he modeled the little girl on his own daughter, and Murray’s author’s note shares that she was inspired to write her rhyming verse by her many walks around New York City. The text’s pattern first highlights many different items that share a given shape and then names that shape before moving on to another list. A postal truck, a pretzel cart, "and stacks of brown packages hauled up the stairs" are all squares, for instance. Collier fills every page, allowing art to take up entire double-page spreads, and his distinctive collage technique is particularly well-suited to highlighting the shapes named by the text. He also pushes well beyond merely visually reiterating the items the text lists, and the result is a seamless interdependence of art and text that will allow readers to find the named items while also providing ample visual interest to reward poring over the illustrations.
A visual feast of cityscape shapes. (Picture book. 3-6)