B Is for Brooklyn

2012. 40p. 978-0-80509-921-4. 16.99.
K-Gr 4–The most colorful, populous borough of New York City comes alive in this eye-popping alphabet book. Beginning with a neighborhood map, each page is an exuberant celebration of the myriad places and people within. There are antique shops along Atlantic Avenue, the aquarium, the Cyclone roller coaster in Coney Island, the public library and museums, bridges, playgrounds, a petting zoo at Prospect Park, stoop sales, street fairs. ... Hungry? Locals have a hot dog at Nathan’s or some cheesecake at Junior’s. There’s also pizza, egg creams, Italian ices, borscht, sausage, and falafel. Arabic shop signs, the Russian Baths, and the West Indian Parade are more evidence of this borough of immigrants. People of diverse skin tones and dress populate the pages. A dreadlocked dad pushes a baby stroller, a tattooed tough chick hangs out under the Brooklyn Bridge, and a Hasidic man appears with his family in Williamsburg. Writers and intellectuals sitting with laptops at neighborhood cafes, a street musician playing the xylophone on Avenue X, shoppers with turbans or hijabs, children running to the ice-cream truck–all call Brooklyn “home.” Subtle elements including bits of street maps, postage stamps, fabric swatches, tickets, and crossword puzzles are incorporated into the vibrant, gouache-and-collage illustrations. A must-have for local libraries.–Barbara Auerbach, P.S. 217, Brooklyn, New York

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