Animated City: New York in Pajamarama

New York in Pyjamarama
Title: New York in Pajamarama
Author: Michaël Leblond
Illustrator: Frédérique Bertrand
Pages: 24
Publ. Date: 2013 (US Edition)
Publisher: Phoenix Yard Books

When I first saw the YouTube video demonstrating how New York in Pajamarama worked, I knew I had to share it with my kids! The book was originally published in France as New York en Pyjamarama in 2011 (where it was the fastest selling picture book of the year) and has finally made its way to the USA!

The Story:
One night, at bedtime, instead of falling asleep a boy in striped pajamas dons a red cape and flies off on a midnight adventure across New York City. Inviting readers to follow him, he takes in the whole city: from traffic-jammed streets to busy shopping districts, from leafy Central Park to sparkling Broadway. Eventually, the dizzying "skyscraper forest" overpowers him and he finally heads back home to rest, but not without mentioning that there will be a new journey soon. (There is a sequel, Lunaparc en Pyjamarama.)

How It Works:

The book comes with a large sheet of acetate marked with black lines. Each of the book's illustrations also contains an embedded "code" of lines and when you slide the acetate across the pages the effect is that the illustrations come alive (as demonstrated in the video, below).

The technique is perfect for conveying the constant movement of the city: dizzying lights, waving leaves, rushing vehicles and stampeding pedestrians! My kids loved the interactive nature of the book and there was a wee bit of arguing over who got to control the animation! We had to take turns for each page, but no one wanted to relinquish the acetate sheet!

My Recommendation:

I found this book to be marvelous and highly recommend it. Many of you may be familiar with the "Scanimation" books by Rufus Butler, but I always found those small books frustrating because the animation only occurred when turning the page and you have to be careful not to miss it. The great thing about New York in Pajamarama is that readers can open the large book flat to control and enjoy the "magic."

This is not a library book! It's a book to purchase (and I don't say that about many books since I love the library so much).

Want More?
Watch the YouTube Video:

Read a review at Library Mice or Kirkus.
On my parenting blog, we made a cityscape art project to go along with the book.

Big Kid says: Awesome!
Little Kid says: Awesome!

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
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