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Everyone on your block has their own story. Ever wonder what they’re thinking?

Children’s books are a delicate dance between word and image. It’s fun to see how just a little information can bring a page to life. I think the best children’s illustrators are able to both enhance a story and still leave room for imagination. French illustrator Laurent Moreau masters this as he assembles a set of quirky neighborhood passersby on a crowded city street. Colorful portraits and simple descriptions set the stage for a rewarding reveal under little cut-paper flaps — what each character is thinking about. The once quietly bustling city street is now teeming with the thoughts and journeys of others.

This book first caught my eye because of the lively collage feel of Moreau’s illustrations. The bold colors and organic shapes remind me of the time I spent as a kid playing with a stencil set, inspired by the ultimate collage master, Matisse.

Laurent’s artwork compliments the thoughtful and emotional storyline beautifully. The book’s in French but even non Francophiles will appreciate the story as told through the images. I found myself trying to guess what would be behind each flap before I took the plunge and I was always pleasantly surprised. Haven’t you ever wondered what other people are thinking?