cover image IT'S MY CITY!: A Singing Map

IT'S MY CITY!: A Singing Map

April Pulley Sayre, , illus. by Denis Roche. . HarperCollins/Greenwillow, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-16915-2

As this bright and bouncy book progresses through a city neighborhood, readers discover that the pigtailed heroine is in charge of keeping her older brother out of the house while their parents prepare his surprise birthday party. Sayre (If You Should Hear a Honey Guide) characterizes the landmarks by their distinctive sounds: there's the Laundromat, where the wash goes "shake, slosh, shake, slosh"; the food stands, where "hot dogs sputter" and "stir-fry sizzles"; and a metal grate that goes "clink-clank, clink-clank" under the heroine's feet. As the girl leads her brother through Roche's (Brave Georgie Goat) bright naïf landscapes chanting "It's my city!" readers can trace the duo's progress—and the accumulation of sound effects—on a city map that runs along the bottom of the spreads. Unfortunately, the linear map doesn't serve much of a purpose as the girl moves from place to place. And Sayre's text could use a shot of cosmopolitan adrenaline—it's missing the kind of infectious beat that evokes the sensory feast of urban life. However, the straightforward cheeriness and energy of the artwork mirror the young heroine's high-spirited self-assurance in her bustling surroundings. Ages 5-up. (Aug.)