cover image A Year in the City

A Year in the City

Kathy Henderson. Candlewick Press (MA), $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-872-3

Henderson (The Little Boat) and Howard (Rosie's Fishing Trip) team up to show the ""turning"" of the year in a bustling metropolis. Each passing month is glowingly profiled with evocative descriptions of seasonal sights, tastes, smells and activities: ""April's bursting./ The supermarket's packed/ with chocolate eggs/ and fluffy chicks/ and food for Passover/ and lines."" Lively as the language is, much of the book's charm springs from the art-crayony vignettes that flower amid the text and, facing the text, full-page scenes of cityscapes and city-dwellers. Howard mixes together traditional and novel subjects (e.g., trick-or-treaters on a windy sidewalk; a New Year's parade in Chinatown; men sawing branches off enormous trees at the end of the winter), also imaginatively varying his perspectives. A slightly muted palette and softened lines temper the busy quality of the compositions, giving them a gentle, almost classic feel. He and Henderson zestfully mesh an appreciation for both crowded city life and the changing natural world. Ages 6-10. (Nov.)