IN THE CITY by Domenika Lipniewska


Age Range: 2 - 9
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A day in the life of a metropolis.

“The city wakes up slowly” as the sun rises, but soon “the hustle and bustle” bring on multiple sights and chances to explore. Spreads focus on different-sized buildings, various modes of transportation, noisy versus quiet spaces, different jobs, entertainment opportunities, and green nature spaces. The final pages depict the city’s nightlife, with some people awake while others sleep, before the narrative comes full circle as the city wakes to a new day. The tour comes with invitations for reader participation (“What a lot of sounds! Which one do you think is the loudest?”) and a hearty dose of consumerism: Several pages show malls, boutiques, and produce markets. In a decidedly modern, abstract style à la Piet Mondrian, Lipniewska composes her cityscape and its inhabitants from many interlocking and overlapping geometric shapes in primary colors against stark white or gray backgrounds. She signals different races and ethnicities by variations in hair, clothes, head shapes, and skin tones (white, gray, blue, peach, green). The author encourages harmonious thinking by depicting crowds of visually heterogeneous people coexisting in the same place, such as enjoying the wares of a food truck: “The people are all very different / but they often like the same things.” There is much to visually revisit and discover anew on rereads.

An absorbing, multifaceted visit to the city. (Picture book. 2-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-7870-8031-7
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Button Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2019