To young children everything is fascinating. They especially seem to love the hustle and bustle of busy places and I’ve always found that my children are completely mesmerised whenever I take them into London. Cities have so much going on. Much that us adults just take for granted, but through a child’s eyes everything can be new and exciting. In the City is a wonderful way to take a look at all the different things children might find in a city.
In the City is actually quite a long book, and as a result goes into quite a bit of depth about all the different things you might see, and hear, in a busy city. There are pages devoted to the buildings you might see, the people you might meet, the animals that call the city home, the different sounds you might hear, the various modes of transport, the food you can eat and the things you can do whilst in the city.
The text in the book had loads of prompts in it for you to use to start conversations with your children about what they can see in the pictures. It might be simply counting animals or boats, or maybe asking them about what types of food they like, or what modes of transport they have travelled on. This is particularly brilliant for any adults who are not natural storytellers and find sharing books with their children a bit challenging at times. It’s an excellent way of introducing lots of things that you can talk about with them.
The whole book is illustrated by Dominika in a very bold and distinctive fun graphical style. Her illustrations have lots of shapes in them, which may sound like a slightly weird thing to say, but when you look at the pages of the book (or the fab trailer above) you’ll see what I mean. Not everything looks exactly like it might do in real life, but again that is a brilliant conversation starter with the child that you’re sharing a book with. I can also see it as a brilliant way of encouraging a child to recognise shapes and also to draw. If you start them off with some basic shapes like a rectangle or a semi-circle and show them how the book has used some of these shapes to draw a car, a baby’s pram or a playground.
Sharing the book with one of my children I loved just how much there was to see and talk about in the illustrations. The bold style of them made them great for attracting children’s attention and both of us felt drawn to point at the pictures with our fingers to point things out to each other or to count things.
I liked the fact that In the City doesn’t actually state which city they are talking about. The N29 night bus is a bit of a nod towards London where Dominika lives, but as the book doesn’t focus on any distinctive landmarks it is quite possible to apply it to any city that you child might know, or might be about to visit. I think it would make a wonderful gift for a young child before a weekend trip to the city and it would be a brilliant conversation starter for talking about what cities are like and all the different and similar things that they might find there.
In the City by Dominika Lipniewska is published in Hardback by Button Books in April 2019. ISBN 9781787080300. £12.99. It is aimed at children aged 2 – 5 years.
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of In the City for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.