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by Laura Godwin & illustrated by Barry Root

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: April 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-025891-8
Publisher: HarperCollins

Catchy couplets and luscious full-bleed illustrations combine in this joyous celebration of a Central Park summer. The title spread, bathed in the golden glow of sunrise, sets the tone as a child, model boat above his bed, sleeps in his park-side bedroom. Rich earth tones emanate warmth as the child, boat in hand and father by his side, stands on the busy street corner about to enter the park. (“Beep, beep, beep, / A taxi calls. / But the traffic creeps and the traffic crawls / Honk, honk, honk. / A bus drives by. / A startled baby starts to cry.”) The next spread offers a bird’s-eye view and introduces the title’s refrain: “And the pigeons coo / And the big dogs bark / And the noises echo through the park.” Subsequent spreads highlight, among other events, a steel drum performance (“Boom, boom, boom, / A drummer plays”), and a baseball game (“Striike one! Striike two! An umpire’s call. / Craaack! Whoosh! retorts the ball”). In all, the boy, his father, and friends blend into the background. The foursome finally comes into focus when they reach the boating pond. Buttery sails dominate the centerfold as the children kneel at water’s edge with their remote controls. The final spread brings the story full circle as the boy hangs his boat above his bed and sunset settles over the park. Children will enjoy spotting the boy and his boat in each scene and the repeated refrain invites participation. Endpapers feature a map of Central Park with labeled landmarks. Very inviting. (Picture book. 3-5)