cover image People, People Everywhere

People, People Everywhere

Nancy Van Laan. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $13 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-679-81063-6

In bouncy verse, Van Laan ( Rainbow Crow ; Possum Come a-Knockin' ) describes a bustling urban scene, with ``People racing round the town, / Going up! / Going down!'' These city folk dash around the park, jump rope in the street and engage in a variety of professions--``teachers teaching . . . plumbers plumbing . . . / Doctors doctoring . . . drummers drumming.'' Then one family packs up and moves to the country, where rolling hills surround their idyllic farm. But not for long: soon rows of identical houses and a mall appear, and there are once again ``People, people, everywhere!'' But the author's message is positive--these new residents are busy recycling cans, picking up trash and planting trees. And the final, uplifting spread reveals picnickers at a brand new town park. Equally adept at delineating the constant movement of the city or the (temporarily) tranquil countryside, Westcott ( Planet Was ; I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly ) packs her pictures with her trademark diverting details and dynamic colors. Ages 3-7. (Aug.)