Reviews

Small in the City, by Sydney Smith

itssimplykayla_'s review

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4.0

I didn't expect this book to be so sad. It was entertaining but sad. The illustrations were lovely.

abigailbat's review

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A child navigating their city home explains tips and tricks for getting around, which turn out to be aimed at a lost pet, as the snow starts to fall faster and faster. I love the gradual twist in the story as you realize who the child is talking to and what the situation is. Tension builds as the snow comes down more furiously. This somber story has an ultimately hopeful ending and is a great childs-eye-view of an urban landscape.

widfarend's review

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4.0

Hit me right smack in the feels.

krismarley's review

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4.0

Requires more than one reading.

jshettel's review

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5.0

Read this picture book after listening to the latest episode of The Yarn podcast. Shelved it on Ugly Cry. Consider yourself warned.

agudenburr's review

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4.0

A beautifully illustrated book about a child who is looking for their lost cat in a big city. The small size and details in the illustrations would make a better one-on-one story.

bookdingo's review

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5.0

I borrowed this book without knowing anything about it and now I'm struggling not to cry, having read it. At first, I thought it was about a child experiencing homelessness and giving tips on what to do in the city, but no! This poor kid is looking for their lost cat and giving tips on surviving. OOF. Completely heart-wrenching.

studiomikarts's review

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emotional hopeful sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes

4.75

Looking at the cover alone, there was nothing that drew me to this book. I had glanced at it for a split second while browsing the SCBWI summer conference faculty bookstore and didn't give it a second thought. But after having it read to me during the illustrators intensive by the author-illustrator himself, I was moved nearly to tears by its powerful storytelling. I ordered it the same day and it reached me less than a week later. Reading it again, this time from my own personal copy, and even knowing the surprise twist, I was still a tad choked up by the end. I took a measly .25 of a star away from my rating because 1) the art style, though award-winning, is not always to my taste (overall I enjoyed it; I especially admire the treatment of reflections in glass and the depiction of snow falling more and more heavily), 2) the font choice just doesn't appeal to me, and 3) the portrait format of the book, while I can see its use in conveying the idea of tall buildings and cramped city spaces, made the book physically hard to read (hard to keep the pages down so that I could see the illustrations properly). Other than those tiny dings, which would not prevent me from buying the book again if I could go back in time, I loved everything about this picturebook and I'm proud to have it in my collection, both as a student of storytelling technique, and as a simple reader who loves moving tales.

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libraryvee's review

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5.0

Picture books can be such powerful things.

This one is beautiful and unexpected and meaningful. Sad, in that universal-understanding kind of way. I don't want to give away the premise, because the book has a bit of surprise in it, but it's just lovely.

Also, the illustrations are such a great companion to this: the bold sketches, the sparseness, the grim lines and the "small in the city" point-of-view angles really add to the impact of the story. And oh boy, what an impact it makes.

Warning: read this one with a Kleenex.

brambresseleers's review against another edition

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emotional sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0