In The City (Dominika Lipniewska)

Hello, friends! Our book today In The City by Dominika Lipniewska, a colorful look at all the things a major city has to offer.

The city (unnamed and geographically ambiguous) wakes slowly, but soon begins to positively hum with life. Each spread explores a different aspect of city life – people, professions, vehicles, noises, foods, buildings, animals, etc. – and the myriad of diversity found therein. Little readers can interact with the text, which questions which sound in a page of city noises might be the loudest (the helicopter? the jackhammer?) or who might still be awake in a city once everyone else goes to sleep (such as the various denizens of a hospital). When the sun sets then rises again, the city’s day begins once more, a beautiful rainbow of life all living together in one place.

Simple yet sweet. Done in a distinctly Scandinavian modern art style, the colorful, abstract characters and settings are full of charm and visual interest without being overwhelming for little eyes. The simple, straightforward text keeps the story light and brisk while educating and encouraging reader participation. The length was fine, and JJ loved pointing out all the elements of each illustration, such as animals at the zoo or different foods on a table. A lovely trip to the city for beginner bookworms, and we enjoyed it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Bluebird (Lindsey Yankey)

Hello, friends! Our review today is Bluebird by Lindsey Yankey, a beautifully illustrated tale of a plucky little bird searching for her missing friend.

Bluebird wakes up one morning to a beautiful sunny day, but something about it feels wrong. All at once, she realizes what’s missing: her very good friend, the wind, is not there! This makes Bluebird nervous, because she’s never flown without the wind to hold her up. Still, she gathers her courage and goes in search of her friend through the park, then the city, flying higher and higher on her own as her confidence grows. Still, there is no sign of the wind. Will Bluebird ever find her faithful friend?

This one was lovely. The story was gentle and sweet, with a hint of a lesson (having confidence in your abilities), but focusing mostly on the bluebird’s search for the wind in trees, scarves, kites, newspapers, and other places it tends to make itself known. The mixed-media art is the star of the show here, using papercraft and some gorgeously illustrated characters to build a delicate and lovingly crafted city with a soothing spare palette. The length was fine, and JJ loved the vibrant little bluebird. This was a very pretty book with a quietly charming story, and we enjoyed it. Baby Bookworm approved!

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich (Julia Sarcone-Roach)

Hello, friends! Today’s book is The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach, an adorable and very funny tale about a bear, a city, and a sandwich.

So you’ve noticed that your sandwich is missing. Well, you won’t believe it, but crazy thing: a bear ate it. See, it all started when this bear accidentally stowed away in a berry truck, and ended up here in the city. From there, some wild adventures were to be had in this new wilderness, adventures that led him right to your sandwich. Believe me: it’s a 100% true and totally plausible tale of how your sandwich managed to get eaten… 

This book was delightful! The story was tons of fun, switching from fish-out-of-water to tall tale deftly, with a hilarious twist ending that tied everything together with a great laugh. The illustrations are lively, colorful and full of personality, giving tons of character to both the bumbling bear and the city he finds himself exploring (I especially loved the subtle nods to San Francisco, my former home, in the art). The length is perfect, and JJ absolutely adored it! Perfect for a sweet, funny read that will leave you and your little one smiling! Baby Bookworm approved!

Little Elliot, Big City (Mike Curato)

Hello, friends! Today, we read Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato, a beautifully illustrated yet wonderfully simple tale of a little elephant in a big city.

Life in a busy city can be tough, especially if you are a little polka-dotted elephant like Elliot. Being so small, Elliot often gets overlooked, or even trampled on! Still, he enjoys his quiet life and the simple pleasures, like delicious cupcakes. Some days are frustrating, though. But it is on one such day that he will find that being kind can bring of the best simple pleasure of all: a good friend.

Oh, my, this one was very cute. Anyone who doesn’t have a heart made of stone will fall for Elliot within the first few pages – he is ridiculously adorable, and the spectacular illustrations of his city, and his small place within it, will definitely make you appreciate his point of view. The plot is wonderful, too: kindness and friendship are the moral of the story, but the themes of feeling unnoticed, isolation, and adapting to challenges are fully explored and create a great sympathy with Elliot for readers of all ages. Plus, the resolution of the little guys helping each other to achieve their goals is a great message, especially in times like these. The length was perfect, and JJ adored the little “effent” (“elephant”), so this one is definitely one to check out! Baby Bookworm approved!