A child rides a bicycle through the neighborhoods of Taipei while a dog spends the afternoon at home, waiting.
Each page of this thoughtful book portrays a wordless snapshot in split screen: The top features a child on a bicycle in a big city, riding past neighborhood shops, a subway station, high rises, and gatherings of people. Meanwhile, the bottom strip features an eager little terrier in a room with a window, outside of which city life passes by. The city is mostly colorless, rendered in delicate line drawings full of charming details, drawing readers’ attention to select objects in color: the red-capped, yellow-jacketed child on the bicycle, a small orange ball, and, closer to home, other children and neighbors. The dog’s day is in color throughout, and when the child arrives home for a joyous reunion, the two panels merge, blooming into full color spreads as they end their afternoon together. Though there is not much plot, and some scenes require closer inspection to parse the situation (one image depicts people sitting at a barbed wire gate, behind which stand what look like police in riot gear), the pages are still a visual delight. The details of the shops and buildings are a tribute to the many faces of a big city while everyone can identify with the dog’s lonely afternoon at home. (This book was reviewed digitally with 7.5-by-19.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52.4% of actual size.)
A visually delightful wordless (and nearly plotless) afternoon in a fascinating city.(Picture book. 3-8)