Pesenti’s illustrations are witty and textured: a collage of black-and-white photocopied photos and bright, bracingly clean-cut drawings. […] All too unusually for a picture book, the text, written by playwright Hilary Bell, is an equal match […] it is a playful, often sly, pleasure.
— Delia Falconer on Alphabetical Sydney, Sydney Morning Herald
About the Books
Numerical Street is a counting book set in a colourful, quirky streetscape where there’s always something new to find. It celebrates the jostle and chaos of a busy shopping street, playfully documenting familiar shops and businesses: Coin-op laundries, cake shops, panel beaters and hair salons. These unremarked shops are a disappearing species.
In the two years spent photographing suburban and regional shopfronts for Numerical Street many have vanished, including much-loved urban icons like Sol Levy’s Tobacconist Extraordinaire on George Street and Perkal Brothers Bespoke Bootmakers in Surry Hills.
Numerical Street captures a moment in time and place, distilling the beauty and charm of these everyday shops into bold double spreads – using the language and type of their signs, architecture and product display.
This is our Sydney, the brightest and best of it,
North to the south to the east and the west of it.
Bats and cicadas, lawn bowls and the zoo,
This is our town. Let us share it with you.
A playful and vibrantly illustrated picture book that celebrates Sydney in all its diversity – from A to Z. It is a best-seller and won the 2014 Australian Book Design Award. It has also been been shortlisted for the Australia Book Industry Award and nominated for several awards, including the AABA and the Independent Booksellers’ Award.
About the Authors
Antonia Pesenti and Hilary Bell have been friends since they met in Paris 20 years ago. Antonia is an architect and illustrator, and Hilary is an award-winning playwright. Their friendship turned into a collaboration when they created the bestselling Alphabetical Sydney together. They enjoyed the process so much that they have continued to collaborate, celebrating the beauty and charm of the ordinary in our urban environment.
About Walter Mason
Walter Mason is a writer and creativity teacher. Together with Stephanie Dowrick he runs the Universal Heart Book Club, an online book group that concentrates on matters of the spirit. He is the author of Destination Saigon (Allen & Unwin, 2010) and Destination Cambodia (Allen & Unwin, 2013). He moved to Sydney when he was 18 and has been in love with it ever since.
Image Credits: A detail of a page from Numerical Sydney showing a Coin-Operated Laundry. Courtesy of New South Books and the authors.