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Nelly Takes New York: A Little Girl's Adventures in the Big Apple

PATAKI, Allison & . illus. by Kristi Valiant. 48p. (Big City Adventures). S. & S. May 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534425040.
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PreS-Gr 2—Nelly and her pudgy beagle, Bagel, live in the West Village in Manhattan. When Mr. Patel, who operates the local coffee cart tells her, "The Big Apple is tons of fun!" the little New Yorker takes him literally, and she and her pet spend the day searching for a giant red apple. She expects to find it at the farmer's market at Union Square, but, while she finds many varieties of apples there, none are big enough. Tourists and natives all have different ideas of where she should go, so Nelly and Bagel travel on foot and by subway to the 9/11 Memorial, American Museum of Natural History, and Central Park.The day is filled with fun and excitement, but Nelly is not satisfied. Finally, toward evening, a taxi driver takes her to the Empire State Building, which affords a breathtaking bird's-eye view of the city all alight. The driver explains, "The Big Apple isn't something you can hold or eat. The Big Apple is all of us—the Big Apple IS New York City!" The bright, crowded illustrations were created with photos and paintings in Photoshop offering readers a colorful view of the busy city inhabitants, streets, and buildings. Bagel provides comic relief on every spread—balancing a croissant on his snout at the market, chasing pigeons, licking a child's ice cream, and gnawing on a Triceratops horn at the museum. The endpapers are covered with sketches of landmark buildings, bridges, and statues.
VERDICT A delicious introduction to one of the world's greatest cities that is perfect for storytime or one-on-one sharing.

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