Vibrant color, diverse people, and assorted sounds welcome infants and toddlers to the metropolis.
Each of the five double-page spreads in this short book contains one sentence of spare text introducing the action (“Traffic zooms by”; “People shop and eat”). People presented are of various skin colors and hair colors and of a variety of ages, from kids to gray-haired older adults, and there is one woman in a hijab. She’s riding a bus, but young readers will also see women as a firefighter, a police officer, a bus driver, and as construction workers. Cartoonish illustrations are colorful, vivid, and detailed. Cats, dogs, and birds appear on most pages, and such onomatopoeic words as “chomp,” “swoosh,” “clank,” and “rustle” are written next to the person or thing making that sound. There are many interesting details to point out, identify, and talk about with a lap-sitting infant or toddler in the different locations of the city shown, including a residential neighborhood, a construction site, and a city park. The Indestructibles are not printed on board pages but on thin, flexible pages that are “chew proof, rip proof, non-toxic and 100% washable.” Co-publishing titles include Hello Farm! and My Neighborhood; the two are very similar to Busy City in illustration and text, but they do not include onomatopoeia, which seems a missed opportunity. Furthermore, My Neighborhood presents single-page scenes, making for busy and confusing spreads.
This detailed book will be best enjoyed one-on-one by engaged adult-baby duos. (Baby book. 6 mos.-2)