cover image Everybody in the Red Brick Building

Everybody in the Red Brick Building

Anne Wynter, illus. by Oge Mora. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-286576-2

Lush collages in jewel tones by Caldecott Honoree Mora illuminate the story of a restless night in a city apartment building whose inhabitants represent many ethnicities, skin tones, and family structures. Everyone’s asleep when Baby Izzie wakes up and cries—the child’s “WaaaAAH!” is shown in a big speech balloon, and a magenta splash testifies to its volume. It wakes Rayhan, a neighbor who checks on his parrot. The bird’s “RraaK! WAKE UP!” rouses three kids in sleeping bags, whose game of flashlight tag disturbs another neighbor—and so it goes, the mishaps and their soundtrack piling up like “The House that Jack Built.” When the climactic racket is finally stilled, Mora shows the apartment dwellers settling down again, now lulled by the build of softer noises: the “shhhh shhhh” of the street sweeper, the “plonk plonk” of falling acorns, and more. Simple shapes and comforting interior scenes signal security, while brilliant colors—the red brick building’s fuchsia doorway, the dimensional dark blue of the night sky—convey warmth. In this lulling story by debut author Wynter, readers watch a group of people confront the same common communal experience—and overcome it. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)