A survey of typical urban features and structures, with flaps and gatefolds offering peeks beneath the surface.
In simplified schematic views populated by small, generic figures of diverse age and skin color, Hancock (who also illustrated Jane Price’s Underworld: Exploring the Secret World Beneath Your Feet, 2014) traces the growth of a city from early village and walled town to bustling metropolis. Closer street-level looks at types of buildings and green spaces, high rises, general services, government buildings, and recreational facilities follow, capped by an unlikely but properly futuristic vision of self-contained cities built within stacked-up domes. The tidbits within are tailor-made for detail hungry young readers, as in one flap that lifts to reveal Big Bertha, the “biggest tunnel boring machine in the world” at over 17 meters across, and a gatefold that opens to present a cross-section of what lies beneath the streets. The city presented is fairly generically European, but specific examples are taken from all over the world, including Toronto, Hong Kong, and Seoul. Though the commentary scattered through each scene occasionally devolves to chatter (“How many things can you see?”), Feroze’s concise explanations of spaces, processes, and elements of infrastructure are generalized enough to be applicable to many specific locales.
Likely to prompt young city dwellers to a broader understanding of their environment. (Informational novelty book. 7-10)