cover image Wake Up, City!

Wake Up, City!

Erica Silverman, illus. by Laure Fournier. Bonnier/Little Bee, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4998-0173-6

At daybreak, a father and daughter leave their house, walk through the city, and arrive at school, taking a familiar route and noticing small things along the way. Fournier’s (The Merchant and the Thief) softly colored spreads pay attention to the way the light changes, from streetlights shining on the steps of brownstones to the rays from the rising sun reaching down an avenue. Readers who have spent time in the city will recognize the street-sweeping machine (“Here comes a beast on hairy feet,/ whooshing, swooshing down the street”), pretzel stand, and dog-walker with his charges. Silverman’s (The Hanukkah Hop!) verse falters occasionally as she sacrifices natural vocabulary to fit the rhymes (“I stop to watch the drill machine,/ but then the traffic light turns green,” she writes, describing a jackhammer) and sometimes slips into sugary sentiment. “I’m ready to work and learn and play,” the girl announces on the last page. Still, the vision of a slow, human-paced walk to school offers a hopeful contrast to the car and bus trips common for many. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agency: The Organisation. (Aug.)