Title: My Town
Author/Illustrator: Ingela P. Arrhenius
Publisher: Walker Studio
Genre: Children’s picture book
Description: There’s so much to see in town!
Take a walk and discover all the sights in this colourful picture dictionary. Can you spot the people who are wandering from page to page?
A stylish book for little explorers.
My Review: I love this book, there’s so many things to see and enjoy, and it’s simply huge! The book is A3 in size! And a hardback which makes it quite heavy to pick up. Inside there are thick matt pages filled with lots of colourful images of things you can find in a town. The book is a perfect introduction for very young children to all the different things they can see around town and what they are called.
The book’s front and back inside covers contain lots of small images of various things like traffic lights, waitress, baguette, etc. These images appear in the larger pictures throughout the book, but the images are accompanied with the word for each item giving kids an instant way to learn the various items they’re going to see inside the book. The book is a random selection of scenes you’ll see in town, with the odd separate images like a cyclist on one page. Each page has a different image on it and there are plenty of locations like a Bookstore, Railway Station and Café, etc. Every picture has a word somewhere on the page so kids can learn what to call these places but it’s really the pictures that make this book special.
I love this author’s style of illustration. I’ve read her previous books ‘Pop-up Things that Go!’ and ‘Animals’ and I just love the style of pictures which have an old-fashioned feel to them. Each thing in an image is without outlines and looks simple and made from some simple shapes and yet it just works for me and I just instantly love looking at all the pictures in this book. They feel a bit like posters from the past and they are all very colourful and yet not over the top. There’s mention at the back of the book about some characters that might re-appear and I love this extra detail that Arrhenius has put into her images. When you look at a scene for the first time you just instantly love looking at it, but when you start to study them more, and look back at previous pictures you can see quite a few of the same people showing up and I love the way it looks like they’re in their own stories, like a couple of people who show up in the Book Shop are seen again a few times with what seems like a development in their story! I also like the little nod to her previous book which is cleverly displayed in the book too as well as what I believe is an image of the author herself on the first page.
I could spend and have spent ages just looking at these images again and again. there’s something just so fun about them and I love how much detail there can be in each picture without over crowding it. I loved books like this as a child which were both huge and with lots of words to learn, it’s a great introduction to all the things you can see in a typical town and it’s definitely a book I’d recommend. The only thing I’d say for people in Britain, is that the underground is called the ‘Metro’ in this book, but it’s a minor thing and something which can easily be explained to children, it wouldn’t have put me off this book as a child (maybe because I have family in Europe who call it the metro) and I love the image of the Metro as much as any other in this book.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.
Do you enjoy big books like this for kids? What do you think of the pictures? Let me know any thoughts you have, I’d love to hear rom you 🙂
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