by Maria van Lieshout; illus. by the author
Preschool Chronicle 40 pp.
4/13 978-1-4521-1662-4 $14.99
A counting book, an airport primer, an introduction to international signage, and a simple travel story — van Lieshout’s book packs a lot into its cleanly designed pages. Each spread features a numeral (from one to ten, then one hundred and up), a common pictogram, and one or two words interpreting the image: e.g., “Check-in desk”; “Security officers.” The crisp illustrations mimic travel signs’ unadorned graphics; the easy-to-decode typeface (Frutiger) is used “on airport signage all over the world.” As the pages progress, a boy and his parents arrive at “1 Airport”; check in at one of “3 Check-in desks”; dispose of prohibited items in one of “5 Trash cans”; and go through security. The scenes are plainly rendered in flat blocks of blue, yellow, black, and gray with touches of red, yet are detailed enough to hold readers’ attention. The family’s fellow travelers are featureless men and women (think airport bathroom signs); the main characters, while well differentiated, are far from embellished. After “10 Gates” and “100 Fastened seat belts,” the concepts get a bit more complex (distance, altitude), but van Lieshout brings us safely back to earth for “One happy meeting” at journey’s end. Make room in your carry-on for this book, perfect for pre- and in-flight entertainment for frequent and fledgling fliers alike.
From the July/August 2013 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.