Sydney: word by word by Sonny and Biddy

cover image

Little Hare, 2016. ISBN 9781760125523
(Age: All) Recommended. Cities. Sydney. Lifestyle. Sonny Day and Biddy Maroney work in Sydney and have created an almost wordless picture book which celebrates the sounds, tastes and look of their capital city for readers of all ages. Many well known iconic structures are illustrated interspersed with some less familiar, but all sparkling with vibrancy in this view of Sydney filled with people involved in a variety of things. We see people at work and at breakfast, commuting to work, surfing, playing the guitar, running, drinking coffee, cycling and at the beach. There is a busker, a gay pride flag, a Chinese festival, the Zoo, the Bridge and the Opera House, and a queue.
Each page has just one word and the illustration will evoke many more from the reader.
In the centre of the book, for example, is a page called Alley, and the illustrations shows an alley with many cats lurking, looking out at the reader or just scurrying away, partly hidden by an array of pot plants.
I love the illustrations which are reminiscent of 1930's film and travel posters with their Art Deco screen printed look, bold blocks of colour, white borders and understated and restricted colour range. This book will encourage discussions about what a city has to offer, and why cities are built. But more than that readers of all ages will be delighted with a view of Sydney that is sparkling and effervescent, all encompassing and enlightening, encouraging them to open their eyes to what is around them.
Fran Knight