Love 0 Loves
Sometimes I wonder why my 18-month-old daughter points to pictures of cows in her farm board books and says, “meow.” Is she going to try to milk a cat one day? While she’s able to make out a word that sort of resembles “elevator,” she has absolutely no interest in learning more about rhinoceroses (which, if we’re going to be honest, just aren’t appealing enough to have earned their place in every children’s animal book ever published).
We are city folk and, understandably, my baby is acquiring a vocabulary relevant for city living. While I would love to expose my peanut to idyllic country life as well, I appreciate the work of authors like Susan Goldman Rubin, whose vivid portrayal of urban life in her board book Jacob Lawrence in the City can easily be appreciated by city and country babes.
I call this work a “book,” but it should really be referred to as a portable museum with text. The work features a total of 11 paintings by 20th Century African-American artist Jacob Lawrence, who made a name for himself in the 40s with “Migration Series,” a collection of paintings that depicted the Great Migration of African-Americans from the rural South to Northern cities.
This thoughtful masterpiece of a book depicts recognizable city scenes: builders building, typists typing away, and children reading and writing in a colorful classroom. Paired with clean text that celebrates the “beep beep’s” and “rat-a-tat’s” of the bustling city, “Jacob Lawrence in the City” offers urban children an even more magical glimpse into a familiar world.
Take a peek at Lawrence’s work and learn a bit more about this influential artist here: