cover image The Ultimate Book of Cities

The Ultimate Book of Cities

Anne-Sophie Baumann, illus. by Didier Balicevic. Twirl (Chronicle, dist.), $19.99 (22p) ISBN 979-1-0276-0079-3

Flaps, pop-ups, tabs, and other movable features help Baumann introduce the fundamentals of a busy modern city in this addition to the Ultimate Book series. Many of the flaps are used to cutaway effect, providing voyeuristic views inside office buildings (behold the conference room and lounge), subterranean wastewater treatment systems, a hospital, library, and more. Among the niftier interactive features: traffic that moves across the page as a spread is opened, window washers that slide up and down a building’s façade, and a wheel that creates an endless parade of children in costumes during a street fair. Also clever is a trip to a department store, where flaps lift to show how products like plastic toys and cotton clothing are produced. Through the text isn’t always all that gripping (“The police, firefighters, and paramedics are here to help everyone in the city”), Balicevic’s playful, detail-rich scenes give readers plenty to pore over. Ages 5–8. (Apr.)