From Publishers Weekly
The Zschock sisters (Journey Around Boston from A to Z) bring their series to the Big Apple, where Heather Zschock, the designer of the series, presently lives. The mallard who guided the Boston tour is replaced here by a pigeon; it appears on every page, often in costume (e.g., dressed as an orchestra conductor or wearing a fire helmet). The alphabet theme only loosely organizes the information, as alliterative sentences, not topics, appear alongside each letter. Transportation, for example, is discussed at "R": "Roebling's rope wires reach across the river"; on each spread, a large watercolor (in this case, of the Brooklyn Bridge) illustrates a detailed paragraph (here, about the construction of that bridge). An inset panel shows a related subject (the Staten Island Ferry), while in the bottom margin a detail (a subway entrance) shares space with a fun fact (the city's buses, rails and subways "transport 2.3 billion people a year all over town!"). The events of September 11 figure under "T" ("Tough times take teamwork"), where a panel showing the Twin Towers is set into a view of the Unisphere from the 1964 World's Fair, "a symbol of `peace through understanding.' " For all the facts and details, the Zschocks also favor generalizations like "Broadway shows are now more popular than ever" and "With rowboats, hiking trails, and theater, [Central Park] offers fun for everyone"); the tone may be upbeat, but it's also bland. Ages 9-12.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4-A fact-filled, alphabetical journey through the five boroughs of the city. A pigeon serves as a tour guide of sorts, appearing on every page in either the small inset illustration or in one of the smaller spot-art drawings located along the bottom of the pages. The format works well to introduce famous landmarks and neighborhoods with descriptive alliterative sentences, such as "Dragons dance by dim sum diners" as an introduction to Chinatown and "Gorgeous gardens grace glass-houses" for commentary on the New York Botanical Garden. Succinct paragraphs of historical information are located under each full-page, highly detailed colored-pencil-and-watercolor illustration. In a much smaller type size, a one-sentence, sometimes quirky, bit of information is imparted as well, as in "Many skyscrapers don't have a 13th floor. No one wants to be on an unlucky floor!" This up-to-date book includes a reference to and inset illustration of the former Twin Towers under the letter T: "Tough times take teamwork." The book begins with a map and a listing of the 26 landmarks showcased. The endpapers offer a different sort of New York alphabet to readers, featuring small illustrations of interesting trademark items, such as a Nathan's hot dog, a blue box from Tiffany's, and a yellow cab. A wonderful testament to a diverse city and its equally diverse residents.Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.