Starting in the morning when everyone wakes up, yawning and ending at night, when "moms and dads are home at last," Christine Loomis' Rush Hour is a rhythmic, rhyming whirlwind tour of the adventure that is every city commuter's day.
Little Kid is so obsessed with this book, he can "read" it page by page to himself. I'm not surprised. Loomis' uses words guaranteed to give any toddler and preschooler a heady buzz: "Whizzing, zipping, clickety clack, rumbling, roaring, jiggling, jumping, left turn, right turn, backing, bumping."
Mari Takabayashi's illustrations are busy, busy, busy, reflecting the crowds and bustle of the city. What I like best is the immense variety of experiences she illustrates. For example, when "people have begun their jobs," she doesn't stop at the standard police officer, teacher and business person -- there are more than 20 careers pictured. There are small details one might not normally think about: a man retrieves his mail from a row of apartment post boxes, a kitchen lacks adequate counter space, in the middle of the day, subway platforms are much emptier. It's the kind of city life detail I enjoy seeing in urban picture books.
Even though the city depicted is New York, none of the text is specific to NYC. I almost wish that the pictures were more city-generic, but of course my boys like to recognize the buses and trains they see everyday.
If your kid loves things with wheels, this book is sure to be a hit. But you might have to read it 12 dozen times.
Visit the illustrator's website.
Watch this you tube video of a crowded subway in Japan. Can you imagine if we had these white gloved "helpers" in NYC!
Little Kid says: Rush Hour, please!