cover image If You Were a City

If You Were a City

Kyo Maclear, illus. by Sanna Francesca. Chronicle, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-452-15519-7

Maclear’s cheerful series of rhymed queries beckons readers to consider the characteristics of an inviting, livable city. On an opening spread, two children with eyes closed ponder the question, “If you were a city,/ how would you be?” as geometric shapes rain down around them. A page-turn later, “Would you be bookish, proud, but slightly leaning?” accompanies the image of a plaid-jacketed figure mimicking the Leaning Tower of Pisa, while “Buzzing, bright, and magic-seeming?” attends a star-strewn skyscape and sand-colored buildings towering over a canopied night bazaar. Subsequent pages propose myriad possibilities, some generalizing about pretend environments, others specifically conjuring real locales easily identified in Francesca’s jam-packed, vector-style illustrations, which portray individuals of varying abilities, ages, and skin tones. It’s a dreamy look at individuality and imagination that centers intriguing visual juxtapositions. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)