After a child friendly map , there is a text-heavy, two-page introduction to the city which my child wanted to skip. Older children and adult readers will find it interesting/ informative and can help the younger child through it.
The book really gets going from there on. It takes you on a ride in and around the city.
There is a full page dedicated to each landmark / theme ranging from the modern to the traditional, capturing the culture- from food to transport and basically anything that adds distinct character to the city.
The text on each location/ subject is crisp and reader friendly. Having visited Kolkata a few times, I felt the book was informative and comprehensive. I smiled as the author doffed her cap at gender equality, when the child says that her father cooks a special dish on Sundays.
There is a sometimes a bit too much going on, on some pages, since individual words also need highlighting along with their pictures. True to the book's claim, the words target a mix of ages and are of different levels of familiarity across the 3- 8 age group.
The book ends with a page full of suggested excursions close to the city. Pretty exhaustive is again the feeling one gets.
As expected, the authors of the series are either natives of the city or have spent a large portion of their life there. This is true of the illustrators as well. Thus there is a lot of love for the city, that gets reflected in the work.
Another charming titbit is that the actual names of the kids of all the authors and illustrators are part of all the books.
Since the content and concept are really fresh in the Indian context, I found the rendering of the two kids (who are the narrators) a bit uninspired. But this does not detract from the book.
The book will appeal to any curious child and he can use it for reference every now and then and discover something new each time - about the city he lives in or the one he plans to visit soon.