Saturday, April 11, 2020

All Around Bustletown 4-Book Series: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall [Review & Giveaway - USA/CANADA]

Prestel's new All Around Bustletown series (Board Books, $12.95 each; Ages 2-5; 14 pages) by Rotraut Susanne Berner

This cute series follows the activities of a charming, bustling town over the course of all four seasons! If you look closer, you'll recognize the same characters appear on every page, each with their own story.

In the tradition of Richard Scarry and Where's Waldo, this series encourages kids to return again and again to each spread, following along with the characters and inventing their own stories. They'll recognize parts of their own world, while also learning about the endless ways we live, work, and play in each season. Kids will spend hours poring over these oversized pages of vibrantly detailed drawings in this joyfully illustrated series.

"What is it about cross-section illustrations — the kind where you can see everything going on inside a house, upstairs and down, all at once — that makes them so mesmerizing? Berner, one of Germany’s best-known children’s authors and illustrators, excels at these fascinating dollhouse-type scenes, a staple of the German genre known as Wimmelbooks. Hers are jam-packed with old and young characters engaged in prosaic, silly or mysterious activities that young readers can spend hours poring over...Parents and grandparents may be especially susceptible to this giant board book’s old-fashioned charms." —The New York Times

In All Around Bustletown: Spring (2/18/2020; ISBN: 978-3791374093), a house gets a top-to-bottom spring cleaning and farm fields are being prepared for planting. People are shopping, commuting to work, constructing buildings, and meeting friends. If you look closer, you'll recognize the same characters appear on every page, each with their own story. There's Wilfred the jogger slipping on a banana peel and his friend Erica who comes to help him. Three cheerful nuns shop, chat, and share a snack at the cafe. A stork surveys all the activity from the sky while a mischievous fox scampers through the streets.

My thoughts: On the back cover of each season in the Bustletown series, individual characters are drawn and it will be fun to watch for them in each of the books. Some are repeated and some are not. That is the case in any town and especially in Bustletown.

Beneath the characters on the back cover there is also a question, thought, or statement parents care read to their child to guide them in looking for actions and objects on the pages. Other than this page of text, the books are essentially "wordless."

The parrot gets lose and you can find him in different spots on each page. Someone drops a banana peel. Can you find it?

The possibilities of observation and story telling are virtually endless with the individuals, activities, buildings, seasons, and life in general.

I found it quite interesting to open all four books to the same scenes and compare the activities for each season. Also, it was interesting to see the progression of a project taking place - such as repair of the church.

Spring simply bursts forth on the pages giving opportunity to relate to activities children see depicted on the pages.

It's summer in  All Around Bustletown: Summer (4/21/2020; ISBN: 978-3791374208) and that means flowers, picnics, thunderstorms, and bike rides. It's a busy time for construction workers, farmers, and house painters. Playgrounds are filled with kids and vacationers are boarding trains in droves. In the sky a pair of balloons drifts through every scene, while on the street people of all ages make their way to an outdoor birthday party. There's even a big storm that turns umbrellas inside out, sends hats flying, but ends in a lovely rainbow.

My thoughts: Summer is just brimming with fun times around Bustletown. It is warm and folks are out and about enjoying the sunshine. There is free time. There is community to enjoy.

The leaves are blowing off the trees and the birds are flying south in All Around Bustletown: Fall (7/21/2020; ISBN: 978-3791374222). Farmers are preparing the fields for winter and kids are back in school. And look, there's a water main break that's causing havoc and a chimney sweeper perched on a roof! Each time readers look at these delightfully detailed spreads they'll discover something new, whether it's what's for sale at the outdoor market or how many pumpkins they can spot on a single page. Familiar characters appear on each page--a maestro and a violinist, a balloon-toting nun, and a mom with her baby. All the activity culminates in a harvest celebration lit by dozens of paper lanterns in every shape and size.

My thoughts: Bustletown in the Fall is a delight. So many delightful activities to talk about. The Fall Festival. The Fall dance. The kindergarten pumpkin walk. The weather is cooling off, the air is brisk, the leaves are everywhere. A delight!

Winter has arrived in All Around Bustletown: Winter (10/2019; ISBN: 978-3791374154) and everywhere you look people are embracing the season. At home there's baking, reading, and sleeping in, while on the farm the fields are fallow and quiet. Outside people are bundled up against the cold as they are skating, sledding, and running to catch a crowded bus. The town's buildings are alive with activity--piano lessons, a dentist appointment, shopping for presents, and visiting the museum. (Read Chat With Vera's review here)

1 Set of 4 Bustletown Books
Begins April 11
Ends May 9 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to addresses in USA & CANADA only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's books are provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist.

1 comment:

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment here at Chat With Vera. If you need to contact me directly, please use the "Comment Me" email associated with this blog and posted in the sidebar.