“A City Aflood in Color, Music and Life”
A review of
by Amy Martin
Review by Chris Smith.
View sample pages from the book:
[ one ] [ two ] [ three ] [ four ] [ five-six ]
Hardback: McSweeneys/McMullens, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
The indie publishing group McSweeney’s, long heralded for their creative writing, has recently launched a children’s book imprint called McMullens. The first book published under the new imprint this summer was the lovely Symphony City by Amy Martin, a noted graphic designer whose work has appeared in newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, and on concert posters for notable bands such as Death Cab for Cutie and Band of Horses. The book tells the story of a girl who gets lost in the city on the way to see the symphony and follows the music on an adventure through the city until she eventually arrives home. However, only a very small portion of the story is told in words, and the bulk of it, appropriately, is told through Martin’s superb illustrations. The book is itself a symphony of line, shape and color, swirling through the streets and the air – a flock of golden birds is prominent motif that swoops through the book. Martin’s depiction of urban life is undoubtedly a touch idealized – a city aflood in color, music and life – but like Peter Brown’s delightful recent picture book The Curious Garden, it is a hopeful book that reminds us of the best of urban culture.