Listen up! The sounds of the city come to life in this vivid picture book that’s ready-made for repetition and perfect for preschool.
From the TING-A-LING-A-LING of an alarm clock in the morning to the RUMBLE RATTLE of the subway and the BEEEEEP-BEEEEP of the streaming traffic, all the way to the SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH hush of evening, the exciting and lively sounds of the city are vibrantly expressed. Experience an energetic day in the city through the eyes and ears of a young boy in this interactive picture book that’s ideal for reading aloud.
Robert Burleigh is the award-winning author of many books for children, including The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn, illustrated by Barry Blitt; Night Flight, illustrated by Wendell Minor; and Black Whiteness, illustrated by Walter Lyon Krudop. His many other books include Hoops; Stealing Home; and Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep! He lives in Michigan.
Tad Carpenter is a designer, author, teacher, and illustrator of many books for young readers. The New York Times Book Review raved of his Zoom! Zoom!, "Any child obsessed with trucks or backhoes or trains or steam shovels should get a jolt of pleasure from the vehicular energy on display here." He lives in Kansas City, Missouri. Visit him online at TadCarpenter.com.
An energetic, multivehicle ride through a bustling city day.
A cheerful sun awakens a sleeping metropolis, and garbage trucks and joggers take to the streets. With each spread, the day progresses. Rhyming text, jam-packed with action, propels the day forward, as each refrain announces the inhabitants’ intentions: “Work time,” “Lunch time,” “Play time,” “Party time.” Exuberant onomatopoeia incorporated into the artwork follows the refrains, as trucks vroom, vans dash, and firetrucks flash. The frenetic pace finally slows at day’s end, as stores close, parties come to an end, and revelers walk home. Hushed tones denote the need for sleep. Carpenter’s retro-styled computer illustrations have a simple charm. Each spread offers something of interest, whether in pattern, composition or character. Done in a simple palette primarily of yellow, blue and red, with a base tone reminiscent of newsprint, the cheery artwork also captures the activity and grit of the city.
Young vehicle-lovers will rev their engines for more. (Picture book. 2-6)
“Wake up, city!” booms Burleigh in this companion to 2009’s Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep! In an imaginary metropolis (where coffee is still just five cents a cup), all the vehicles—from bikes to subways—spring to life, most of them with eager smiles and bright headlight eyes. Each spread is snapshot of people happily in motion at a particular time of day, from the early morning garbage pickup to the time when late-night revelers call it quits (“Tired dancers/ slowly walking./ Subway riders/ softly talking”). Mid-afternoon finds school kids on a public bus eager to get home and hit the streets on wheels of their own: “Step on it, Driver./ Show some speed./ Rock it. Roll it./ Take the lead./ School’s out city!” reads one of Burleigh’s clipped couplets. Carpenter’s (Sad Santa) carefree scenes, digitally rendered and saturated in primary colors, are the very picture of urban hustle and bustle, with a jaunty look of 1960s animation. Visual sound effect cues abound in dynamic display type: “rumble! rumble! rattle-rattle-roll!” As much fun as flooring it—and a lot safer. Ages 3–7. (Feb.)
Make room on the big-noisy-vehicle shelf. Burleigh and Carpenter give us a busy city with streets full of a
vast variety of noisy modes of transportation: garbage trucks, double-decker buses, trains, cars,
skateboards, and much more move boisterously up and down the streets. “Hustle Bustle!,” “Vroom-
Vroom!,” “Rattle! Rattle!,” and “Whoosh-Whoosh!” fill the air from early morning to late at night when
“Shuffle. Shuffle. Whisper-whisper-yawn” takes over. Although such a noisy place could be an assault to
the senses, all the residents of this city, especially the broadly smiling vehicles, seem to be remarkably
happy as they go about their business. Perhaps it’s Burleigh’s cheerful rhyming text, which
counterbalances the noises that swirl across the chunky, retro backdrops in rich reds, blues, and yellows .
It’s a gleeful romp, and a nice companion piece to Burleigh’s earlier work Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep!:
Listen to the City (2009).
From the review: “New York State of Mind”
“Finally, we have another onomatopoetic read-aloud in “Zoom! Zoom! Sounds of Things that Go in the City,” which takes us through a day’s worth of urban cacophony. Tad Carpenter’s angular, primary-colored illustrations are a perfect visual counterpart to the rattles, bangs, and whooshes in Robert Burleigh’s text; any child obsessed with trucks or backhoes or trains or steam shovels should get a jolt of pleasure from the vehicular energy on display here. “Zoom! Zoom!” seems as if it must be set in New York – until, contrary to the famous Frank Sinatra song, the city goes to sleep. New Yorkers, openhearted and not at all myopic when it comes to pride of place, will forgive Burleigh that snub, while comforting themselves with the knowledge that no one ever says: “Wow…Phoenix! Just like I pictured it.”
--Bruce Handy, NYTBR