Review of Everybody in the Red Brick Building

Everybody in the Red Brick Building
by Anne Wynter; illus. by Oge Mora
Preschool    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    32 pp.    g
10/21    978-0-06-286576-2    $17.99

On a clear, starry night, everybody in a red brick apartment building is sound asleep. That is, until Baby Izzie sits up in her crib and starts to cry, “WaaaAAH!!” This sets off a chain reaction in which other residents are roused from their slumber and create noises of their own. Young Rayhan gets out of bed to check on his parrot, who calls out, “RraaK! Wake UP!” In another ­apartment, three boys awaken and initiate a game of flashlight tag, including the requisite “Pitter, Patter, STOMP!” Before long the whole building is astir. The perspective pulls back to reveal the exterior of the building as a cat jumps down from her perch in a window and leaps onto a car, setting off an alarm, “WEEYOOOWEEEEYOOOOO!!!!” It takes a while, but bit by bit everyone settles down to the familiar “­shhhhshhhhshhhh” of the street sweeper and goes back to sleep. Even Baby Izzie dozes off in her mama’s arms as the charming child-centric story comes full circle. Mora’s (Saturday, rev. 10/19) dynamic, richly colored collage art reinforces the warm, cozy scenes and adds depth, ­texture, and vitality to the pages. The subtle diversity, urban setting, and universality of theme make this an excellent addition to bedtime bookshelves everywhere.

From the November/December 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Luann Toth
Luann Toth

Luann Toth is a former reviews editor at School Library Journal. She holds an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh.

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