ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE by Jean Riedy. Illus. by Leo Timmers. New York: Bloomsbury, 2013. 32p. 978-1-59990-185-7; hc., $14.99. PreS-K EPICRhyming stanzas perfectly match the brightly illustrated pages in a picture book ‘peopled’ with a variety of town inhabitants, benign, sometimes hilarious looking animals. The wide eyed characters are depicted doing everyday things that children can identify in their own cities and towns; or perhaps as we would wish our towns to be.
The trip around the town begins with a zebra, giraffe, elephant and other happy, friendly looking creatures on a school bus waiting for a book-pack toting bear who is leaving a bakery with a freshly baked morning treat. As the pages reveal farmers hauling corn, neighbors planting gardens, restaurant cooks flipping pancakes, mothers pushing strollers and buggies, turtle leaving the library with a load of books, there are small funny-bone tickling characters. A few of the many vignettes: a small creature popping out of the ground surrounded by apple cores and raccoon tossing his newspapers with a perfect throw to dog, dressed in high-heels, hat and coat, carrying a briefcase under one arm and a cell phone in the opposite hand. The perfect throw of course, is caught in dog’s mouth. Browsing the detail-packed pages will engross children and their big people. The cadence never falters and the rhymes flow effortlessly. A good addition to public and school collections, this book would be a good choice for a gift.Barbara Ward, Retired Children’s Librarian, Dickinson County Library