cover image City Sounds

City Sounds

Rebecca Emberley / Author Little Brown and Company $13.95 (25p

Like Peter Spier's Gobble, Growl, and Grunt , these concept books contain a compendium of sounds. In Jungle Sounds , a green-mottled alligator snaps his mouth at orange butterflies while two plump hippos say, ``glub glup.'' And ``pik a tik'' is the sound birds make poking at a rhino. In City Sounds , people's shoes not only tap and clomp, but tennis shoes ``squinch'' and cowboy boots ``kalunk kalunk.'' Some sounds are traditional, like the ``yeowl'' of the cat, some are onomatopoeic, like the ``ooh hoo hoo'' of the chimpanzee and some are meant to be fun, like the ``muncha cruncha'' of the giraffes. Emberley's flat canvas of brightly colored paper cutouts is interesting in its design, and the concept behind each book is solid. The ``glossary of sounds'' found at the end of Jungle Sounds is helpful (it names the various animals in the book). However, the glossary in City Sounds seems unnecessarily repetitive with its pairings: ``snoring--zzzzz,'' ``telephone--brrinng brrinng,'' and ``horse--klip klop.'' Ages 3-6. (Apr.)