I really loved this little book, and while it didn’t apply to me for most part (I am from Europe, not the US), I still enjoyed seeing the town evolve and grow.
The book is really American-centred, which is kind of a shame, but I am also used to books being centred around one town or one country. The town the kid lives in isn’t even that old. My homecity (sorry, it isn’t a town, too many people) has been around since the Roman Empire time. 🙂
The book starts in the now time, and when the little guy finds a magical newspaper from a long time ago he is teleported (at least that is what I would call it) to the past. It was great fun to see him walk around the town, for quite a few pages he was the only dot of colour in a world without it. But, as the time went by the pages went from Black/White to Sepia and slowly more and more colours seeped in. On the one hand, it would have been fun had the illustrations been colourful, but I think this way it is more powerful, and also it reminds me of how photography evolved. From Black/White to more and more colours, as colour photographs got more available and cheaper to make.
It was also great that the author/illustrator added historical events or tiny little things that gave away the time. For instance, on 2 pages we had a little black kid doing his newspaper round, while another kid stood on the corner shouting the headlines. Then on 2 other pages we had hippies, carrying signs with love and peace.
The illustrations were gorgeous and the colours vibrant. The book’s story is based mostly on the illustrations, there are words, but they are mostly present in newspaper(s), signs and what people might carry around. I like that this is done, I think it would have been distracting if the book had words, and it would also draw away from the lovely illustrations.
All in all, I would highly recommend this book to everyone, young and old. This book can both be educational (as kids might want to know why people are standing there holding signs) and fun. Which is the perfect combination for a book. 🙂