Award-winning, Los Angeles-based artist Amy Martin will release her first illustrated children's book, Symphony City, this July. Written and illustrated by Martin, Symphony City visually explores a day-in-the-life of a young girl after she is separated from her grandfather on the way to see the city orchestra. Her initial fear of being left alone evolves into an extraordinary discovery and exploration of the city's sights and sounds. The sophisticated children's book debuts as one of only five new illustrated children's titles being released by McMullen's, McSweeney's newest imprint.
The star of Symphony City is the young girl who eagerly leaves a house filled with discord to spend a day in the city with her grandfather. When they become separated, she is at first frightened by the sudden experience of being alone. But upon hearing music throughout the city-first from buskers in the subway station and later a rock band on the sidewalk-she develops the courage to explore on her own. Soon she is climbing enormous trees in an imaginary forest, soaring through the sky on a kite, leaping with ballerinas across the tops of buildings, and dancing through fields of color. The prevailing themes that Martin captures throughout Symphony City are the willingness to overcome fear and the transformative power of music.
Set against a fantastical urban backdrop of soaring skyscrapers and sparkling subway stations, Symphony City takes its visual inspiration from rock shows, capturing the illusive moments when, with the stage lights swirling, you literally become lost in the music. Martin, who was inspired by the visual vocabulary of rock show posters, Japanese wood block prints, and artist Charley Harper, created Symphony City in an attempt to capture the experience of seeing her favorite bands perform.