A World of Cities by James Brown. Candlewick Studio, 9780763698799, 2019
Rating 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? This book is a visual treat filled with interesting facts, quotes, demographic information, and historical tidbits about some of the most amazing cities in the world. There is so much information that it requires a large platform — the book is 12” wide and 14” tall and is written in a vertical format — which means each city has a page height of 24” to boost all their special qualities and include their most magnificent architecture. For each city, the entire page is filled with beautiful illustrations and the text weaves and winds around these illustrations. Attention was given to the presentation of facts and any illustrations to accompany those facts. For example, on the Dublin page information about a holiday honoring James Joyce is provided on a black silhouette of his face, complete with his ever-present hat. The interesting facts about Shanghai Tower scroll up and down the illustration of this building taking up almost the entire 24” of the opened page. This seems appropriate for a building that is 2,073 feet tall, has the world’s highest observation deck, and has an elevator speed of 46 miles per hour.
This book is not a quick read but designed to be savored over a long period of time. There is just enough information on each page to captivate the reader but also to leave a desire to learn more about each city.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Nothing
To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children between the ages of 5 and maybe 12. Younger children might not be able to read the information themselves but they will enjoy all the facts about each city.
Who should buy it? Public and elementary school libraries.
Where would you shelve it? Non-fiction but the size really does force the book to be displayed in a special manner — not such a bad thing because it is a wonderful and unique book.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” pile? Yes
Reviewer: Kristin Guay, Centerville Library, Centerville, MA
Date of Review: January 3, 2019