Book Reviews

So many books. So little time.

Wake Up, City! by Erica Silverman

One fortunate young girl walks to school every morning. So early that the city is still asleep:

"My city sleeps, but we're awake
in the quiet time before daybreak."

How many of us have seen a city asleep? Erica Silverman gives lovely word-pictures to the young girl describing the city:

"Like giant statues, tall trees doze,
and rows of cars sleep tail to nose."

Cars parallel-parked on city streets, so close to each other that they are "tail to nose". Wow!

A cat "curled up in a loop."

"Empty benches in the park
look lonely in the fading dark."

What a wonderful conceit. We talk of the fading light; the author gives us fading dark, as night gives way to the rising sun and the city awakes:

"Then something changes. Something shifts.
Like a curtain rising, darkness lifts."

A gentle book. Did you notice, dear reader, that the story is told in rhyme? So unobtrusive the rhyming, so luminous the word-pictures: we get engrossed picturing for ourselves the cityscape the young girl describes.

Gentle also are the illustrations. Not just the muted dark of the night but also the softened dayscape. What stands out is the love and the trust between Dad and daughter—their shared enjoyment of life. The youngest of readers will enjoy it too, see beyond their day to the daily routine of their city.

Laure Fournier—the illustrartor's sensitivity to the author's story creates a book that is a beautiful paean to life.

Title: Wake Up, City!

Author: Erica Silverman

Illustrator: Laure Fournier

Publisher: little bee books

Hardback: 28 pages

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0173-6