Booklist starred (March 15, 2013 (Vol. 109, No. 14))
Preschool-Grade 2. It’s a hot day at the city park, a pleasant green oasis of open space, play equipment, and water. The jacket illustration offers a bird’s-eye view of the pond, hill, playground, and flower beds, areas that will be seen again and again from different angles. Around six o’clock in the morning, several dogs and their people head for the pond. By seven, two babies and their grown-ups have arrived at the playground. Hour by hour throughout the day, visitors come and go. In the crowded playground at ten o’clock, a sprinkler in a shallow pool amuses toddlers, while older kids line up at the drinking fountain for water to fill their water balloons, to wet the sand for sand castles, and to cool the slide. While the quiet text creates a satisfying, structured narrative full of details that will intrigue young children, they will also be engaged by the inviting pictures. Using digitally assembled pencil drawings and ink washes, Graegin creates illustrations with a traditional look and plenty of human interest. The park within the book becomes a destination that a child can visit and revisit, noticing new details each time and connecting familiar ones in new ways. A wonderfully fresh look at a timeless topic.