I was given the first three board books and the first picture book in the series by Abrams Appleseed to review and these darling books are going to be very popular! The board book series focuses on community helpers – I’m a Librarian, I’m a Firefighter and I’m a Veterinarian. Each of which follows a day in the life of a community member of Tinyville Town. I also received Tinyville Town Gets to Work! which is about the whole town coming together to work on a project. In this first picture book, there is a traffic jam on the old bridge and the mayor decides that a larger bridge needs to be built because the town is growing. I love how the story introduces a number of familiar characters, but also new community members like the township planner and architect, a journalist and construction worker.
I think what I liked most about these books is that Brian Biggs, the author/illustrator truly makes the characters diverse in gender, race and even sexual orientation (depending on who the librarian’s partner is – all we see is a short hair cut in bed when the librarian wakes up and goes to sleep). I love that you can look at any page and see a truly diverse group of people and that throughout the series the characters overlap as the firefighter takes the firehouse dog to the veterinarian. Some have compared this series to Richard Scarry’s world and Sesame Street’s small town feel, but I like that Brian Biggs uses actual people rather than anthropomorphic animals. I think these board books are going to great for kids and for preschool classrooms when discussing community helpers! Abrams also has a great teacher guide with vocabulary, questions about the stories and even a few activity pages for kids to use! The first few books were published last fall with a few more planned throughout this year and I know a bunch of little kids who will be getting this series for birthdays and holidays!