Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Rundherum in meiner Stadt (All around in my town)

It's been a busy time around our house with the recent Thanksgiving holiday and I've got a stack of books waiting to review. I thought I'd start with one I unearthed at my local charity shop: Rundherum in meiner Stadt, or All Around in My Town. This book is already very popular with E and I had to wrangle it away from him at breakfast to have a closer look. It's a textless picture book so don't let the German title throw you. You do not need to speak or read German in order to enjoy this slightly oversized board book that's loaded with charming pictures and generous detail.

First published in 1968, Rundherum in meiner Stadt features seven double page spreads of uniquely German yet wholly universal scenes. It takes E a while to get past the cover due to the fire engine and city tram on the front, but once that first page is turned it's a feast for the eyes. A bit like Richard Scarry's Busy Town, the scenes unfold to reveal everyday comings and goings of town life.  Construction sites, industrial shipping docks, city parks and fair grounds are all given fair dues in this cheery picture book. If you look closely you can also follow the changing of the seasons and spy on the private lives of the town residents. There are layers of detail to be discovered in these illustrations and countless little conversations to be had around them too. Just this morning E and I've been talking about brick laying, ducks, swimming pools, band practice and carousels all in one breath.

German author Ali Mitgutsch has written a range of titles for children including several other board books in a similar style to Rundherum in meiner Stadt. Though this is a vintage title it looks to be available at all the big online book sellers and presumably though special order from smaller book stores.

1 comment:

  1. How luck to find this - it looks brilliant. Do you know this German title: