cover image City I Love

City I Love

Lee Bennett Hopkins, , illus. by Marcellus Hall. . Abrams, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8109-8327-4

This joyful poetry collection celebrating urban life combines Hopkins's (Behind the Museum Door ) affectionate odes (a mix of previously published and new poems) with Hall's (Because You Are My Baby ) engaging watercolors, which widen the book's perspective by presenting images of famous cities all over the world. The captivating visual story line features an appealing, insouciant brown dog who travels the world with his backpack and a bluebird. Whether trudging through waist-deep snow in Moscow or riding on a crowded subway in Mexico City, both characters model the reader's wonder at the variety of costumes, music, people and sights found across the globe. Hopkins's reflective and sometimes humorous poems move through diverse aspects of life in the city—from skyscrapers (workers “balance on beams/ dangle on derricks/ glide on girders/ sway on concrete slabs”) and crowded streets to negotiating the weather (“You stand/ on a corner/ shouting:/ 'Taxi!'/ 'Taxi!'/ knowing/ deep/ inside/ taxi cabs/ never / stop/ on/ rainy/ days”). Hopkins grounds the book with heartwarming particularities while Hall's lively paintings conjure a world that should intrigue young travelers. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)