A one-day world tour strolls through 11 bustling cityscapes—highly stylized but with identifying clues and recognizable landmarks tucked within stacked rows of streets and clusters of buildings.
References in the rhymed commentary to “[t]eeming streets and bhangra beats” or “[c]apoeira dancers whirling” provide location clues, but aside from London, New York, Rio and Paris, most scenes are crowded composites. In one, a gondolier glides between a leaning tower and an erupting volcano; another offers a view of Uluru across a stretch of water near the Sydney Opera House. On each page, three to five small square or rectangular flaps—artfully concealed by landscape or architectural lines—hide glimpses of underground activity, people within structures or other visual surprises. Nieminen’s tiny human figures, all of which are faceless or have black dots for heads, convey a message contrary to Broom’s conclusion “that though we might look different, / underneath we’re just the same.” Still, everyone here from the walking narrator to shopkeepers, sunbathers, ice skaters and window washers (there are a lot of windows) is doing something, and the flat, graphic art’s vibrant colors kick up the collective energy of all that activity.
Eurocentric despite stops on each (permanently inhabited) continent, but a bright debut for the Finnish artist. (Informational novelty. 6-8)