Let's Travel: London, New York, San Francisco, & Paris
N and I first came across the board book series by Ashley Evanson when we found London A Book of Opposites. With simple comparisons: "this guard is big, this guard is little; this carriage is old, this bus is new," the book gives children a taste of opposites as well as popular London staples like the Queen's guard, double-decker buses, and Buckingham Palace.
While N thoroughly enjoys reading London over and over again he is less interested in the other three books in the series. New York a Book of Colors, seems to come in second place as it presents children with vibrant illustrations of New York taxis, Central Park in the fall, and the bright lights of the Empire State Building.
San Francisco a Book of Numbers and Paris a Book of Shapes are less noteworthy. While Evanson's motive to expose children to different parts of the world is a lovely idea, counting books tend to err on the side of boring and I thought San Francisco came up short. The last page of the book however is my favorite as it shows the Palace of Fine Arts with a bevy of swans enjoying, what appears to be, a peaceful environment.
As for Paris a Book of Shapes, I would have liked to have seen more real-life shape examples instead of seeing each page with a single shape followed by a picture of an object. For example, page one has a circle followed by a picture of hot air balloons. Children are then asked to find the circles. To me, each circle-only page is a waste of a page since parents will naturally show their children that the balloons are in the shape of a circle by pointing to them, or tracing their finger around the edge one. As another example, the page with the Cathedral of Notre Dame (image below) is very jarring to me as it presents an enormous purple rectangle on the left side of the page followed by the Cathedral on the right. And while the Cathedral has a rectangular facade for children to identify, your eye is drawn to the purple rectangle at the bottom right of the page which takes away from focusing on the shape of the Cathedral. One might also question what the purple rectangle is meant to represent. A banner? A hedge? A tree? It is unclear to me, and having been to the Cathedral of Notre Dame this page does not do it justice.