I think I have read City Under the City before. However, I did not really remember it at all. Sure, things seemed a smidgen familiar, but the theme is similar in other works and I always find samples here and there so that’s why a page or two wasn’t completely “fresh.” And that is not necessarily a bad thing as I was able to read it fresh. And like with another book I read and this happened to me, I was able to take something away from it this time I did not last time.
I enjoyed Dan Yaccarino’s story about a future that is not too far off from our present. The Eyes do everything for us, even brush our teeth and tell us what to read. We are always hooked with them, we cannot do anything without them. Of course, there is one rebel who wants to do things on her own. The nice part is, her family doesn’t “get it” or her, but they let her be her. The story gets going when our young heroine finds herself in a city that is under the current world she lives in. And there she finds a magical artifact. Or several, actually. She learns they are called Books. And they have a lot to say about themselves and other things. She explores this world via the books and the city itself. Finally, finding a way home, she tells her parents of this magical thing called a Book that allows you to finally think on your own. And of course, the Eyes do not like this. And then the adventures really get going and YEAH! They all save the day, stop the Eyes and live happily reading ever after. The story is way too close to home. And therefore, not for all kids, but most people will appreciate and enjoy it
The artwork is pure Yaccarino. Goofy images, colors and details. Things are fun, but not overly “real,” but not abstract. This does help make the story a little more light than the subject would probably normally allow. The idea of things is “Space Age” so we get a Jetsons meets The Robinsons atmosphere to the illustrations.