A rabbit toddler surveys the bustle and occasional comic chaos of his beloved town from the vantage point of a buggy being pushed by his mother. Timmers’s (The Magical Life of Mr. Renny) work possesses the exaggerated goofiness and hipster-retro edge of contemporary animation, and he revels in riffing on Reidy’s (Too Princessy!) simple, cataloguelike rhymes (“Shopping, sacking,/ sorting, stacking—/ rows so nice and neat./ School bells ringing./ Reading, singing,/ friends to meet and greet”). The bright, saturated acrylic environments are densely and vibrantly populated with animal characters in an expansive variety of roles (a guitar-playing gorilla teacher, an ursine tourist in a Hawaiian shirt, a crocodile short-order cook flipping flapjacks); their energy, both potential and unleashed, and their eager, saucerlike eyes convey a sense of carpe diem bordering on manic. With spreads jam-packed with detail and event—as the action moves from home to bustling sidewalks, past traffic jams and into the hospital (for a visit) and the library—it’s an undeniable feast for the eyes. Up to age 5. Author’s agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
An Indie Next List pick
Classic and contemporary feeling, this echoes both Golden Books and Richard Scarry…The scenes could be interpreted as set anywhere from Manhattan to Meadow Lakes, Alaska, thereby making this relatable to a wide range of youngsters.
- Remy Dou
This busy town is a learning playground. Bakers, farmers, firefighters, and other workers fill every corner and do interesting things. Each page reveals something fun (and funny!) to watch. Reidy takes readers on a tour of the town, from its busy roads to its quiet abodes by using simple rhymes and active verbs to drive the story along. Each verb is a learning provocation for children to search through the drawings to find examples. Timmers' colorful, vibrant illustrations brightly depict a variety of animal characters busy working, walking, waking, or wheeling. From bears baking to crocodiles cooking, every spread invites readers to pause and examine the interesting and silly details of this very active town. The paintings and text complement one another perfectly in this entertaining sightseeing excursion. The book cleverly closes with a sweet scene of a child playing with his toys. The cars, trains, and figurines around him will seem strangely familiar. Reviewer: Remy Dou
School Library Journal
PreS-K—A mother rabbit takes her baby for a walk in a buggy. The eventful trip begins early in the morning, and they pass a garden, shops, the train station, and a school yard. They stop for breakfast, mail a letter, visit someone in a hospital, and read a story outside a library. The rhyming text bounces along with an abundance of action words. Reidy's playfulness is somewhat similar to her style in Too Pickley! (2010) and Too Purpley! (2010, both Bloomsbury). Timmers's fun, double-page acrylics creatively illustrate the vocabulary: "Pancakes flipping," a fire hydrant "spraying," an ambulance "dashing," and the pictures have lots of humorous details for youngsters to spot, like a snake balancing a cupcake on its back and a giraffe skipping rope. This spirited picture book is as much fun to browse through as it is to read, and it could spark classroom discussions about neighborhoods and community workers.—Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH
Richard Scarry has some competition in this effort, which follows a toddler-age bunny and his mother around town on their errands. Filled with verbs that end in –ing, the rhythmic verses form a nice cadence and challenge readers to spot the characters that are performing each action. "Pancakes flipping. / Cutting, clipping. / Tossing, fetching, / bending, stretching. // Brushing, shaving. / Good-bye waving-- / my town in the morn." The bunny, usually in his pram, and his mother are easy to spot on each page as they watch the kids in the schoolyard, stare pop-eyed at the rescue vehicles converging to put out a burning sausage, mail a letter, visit a hospital patient, read a book outside the library and take the bus, among other things. Once they get home, in a scene reminiscent of Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk's Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo (1999), the living room floor displays a very familiar scene. The acrylic illustrations are bright and busy, full of details to spot, animals to identify and things to find and count. Similar animal characters to Timmers' Who is Driving? (2007) populate this outing, their huge eyes dominating their giant heads, while tiny legs protrude from below stylish outfits, all adding to their charming appeal. Neatly encapsulates the three-ring circus that is a little tyke's world and gives children an opportunity to practice all kinds of skills. (Picture book. 1-5)
Author Jean Reidy's been told that a naughty little kid lurks somewhere inside her - and she takes that as a high compliment. She writes from her home in Greenwood Village, Colorado where she lives with her husband, Mike. She has four children and hoards of nieces and nephews who provide her endless inspiration. Too Purpley! was her first picture book, and this is her second. Please visit her at www.jeanreidy.com.
Leo Timmers has written and illustrated several books for children, including Happy with Me, which was awarded the Bookfeather Prize for Best Upcoming Talent. His books have been published in Korea, Brazil, Spain, Denmark, France, the United States and Sweden. Leo lives in Brussels, Belgium with his wife Gina and their daughter Luna.