51 Albert Street was once a family home, but now it is divided into six apartments, with 19 residents. Cutaway drawings introduce us to the building and its denizens. Careful examination of the rest of the double-page, oversized spreads plus the short snatches of dialogue provided reveal the wacky goings-on inside and outside the house at specified hours of the day, from 7 o'clock in the morning until 1 o'clock the next morning. The illustrator rightly deserves top billing for this detailed oeuvre.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-An elegant townhouse divided into five apartments is the setting for this visual round of visits. Readers turn the book sideways for an introduction to the apartments, the parts of the building, and the people who live and work there-all seen through cutaway watercolor art. Sidebars provide closeups of the continuing stories. The drama begins at 7:00 a.m. and ends at 1:00 a.m. Within these hours, one family moves in, one family loses a cat, an eccentric scientist blows up his experiment, and the people on the first floor hold a huge party. The famous movie star on the fourth floor suffers water damage, the alligator in the sewer underneath the building is finally caught, and the burglars who walk off with a Picasso return to the scene of the crime to make the party scene. Children who enjoy picture puzzles and exploring cross-sections will find some amusing details here, but there is nothing to compell readers to take more than one look.-Susan Pine, New York Public Library