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Lights on Broadway: A Theatrical Tour from A to Z, with CD Hardcover – October 14, 2009


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$15.13 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Apple Books; Har/Com edition (October 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193470668X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934706688
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 12 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #582,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 5—A love letter to Broadway written with genuine warmth and professional-theater knowledge, this alphabet book features crisp, retro-style cartoon characters confidently racing about onstage and behind the scenes. Pleasantly busy pages capture the excitement of live theater and offer multiple entries for each letter. For example, "A" is for "audition," "actor," "audience," and "applause." "S" stands for "stage," "scenery," "set," and "script." Multiple sidebars offer further kid-friendly definitions. Plenty of star power is lent with quotes from luminaries such as Whoopi Goldberg, Liza Minelli, Steven Sondheim, Bernadette Peters, Carol Channing, and Kevin Kline. A CD single written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty performed by Mitchell is also included. A must for all collections, this book will be treasured by theater aficionados for years to come.—Madigan McGillicuddy, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

With a dazzling cover, high-interest topic, and involvement by acclaimed performer Brian Stokes Mitchell (he wrote the introduction and afterword as well as performing on the included CD), this has the promise of being a showstopper, though it doesn’t totally deliver. The attractive design, A–Z format, and splashy computer-generated full-page illustrations will certainly appeal to many. Theater terms for each letter of the alphabet are given brief descriptions: audition, actor, box office, understudy, etc. (only two are specific to New York’s Broadway). Some letters are given double-page spreads along with several related terms, while others are relegated to one page and one term only. Most pages feature a quote from professionals involved in the industry. The brightly colored illustrations emulate collages yet still feel somewhat flat. This title could be used as a teaser to lead children to more practical books, such as Directing (2009) by Bethany Bezdecheck. Grades 3-6. --Randall Enos

More About the Author

Harriet Ziefert was born in New Jersey. She grew up in North Bergen, New Jersey, where she attended the local schools. She graduated from Smith College, then received a Masters degree in Education from New York University. "About twelve years ago," says Ziefert in a 1995 interview, "I tried to get a job as an editor, but no one would hire me as a trade editor. So I decided to write my own books." Since then, she has written several hundred books, mostly picture books and easy-to-read books. "I write books very quickly," she says, "in about twelve hours. I rewrite them three times over three days, and then they're done." She writes about twenty books a year. Ziefert's picture book A New Coat for Anna is about a girl in a bombed-out European city during the months just after World War II. Anna has outgrown her old coat, and her mother trades her few surviving treasures--a watch, a lamp, a necklace, and a porcelain teapot--in order to obtain wool and have it spun, woven, and finally sewn into a fine red coat for Anna. A Horn Book Magazine reviewer stated, "the simple text, based on a true story, carries the narrative along effectively." The book, which was illustrated by Anita Lobel, was chosen as one of ten books to be read aloud by former First Lady Barbara Bush as part of a program promoting reading. Ziefert was invited to the White House for the occasion. The reason Ziefert began writing easy-to-read books was that she felt "they were getting too hard for kids to read in the first grade." She says that she wrote easy-to-read books with seventy-five or fewer words, even ones with fifty or fewer words, "to see how much of a story" she could produce with that limit. She enjoyed the challenge, and cites her book Sleepy Dog as an example. "Sleepy Dog is the most successful book I've ever done, in terms of number of books sold." She's also been working on a developmental program with publisher Dorling Kindersley, made up of books for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Her book Pete's Chicken, which was illustrated by Laura Rader, was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review as "a simple, sweet 'Song of Myself' for children . . . [which] applauds the specialness of every child as it reminds parents of the healing power of just being there for children." Among her other books is a series of easy-to-read books, such as Trip Day and Worm Day, about an inventive science teacher and his rambunctious class of students. Ziefert's book Let's Get a Pet was named an Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children by a joint committee of the National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council. . Ms. Ziefert lives in Maplewood, New Jersey and Lincoln, Massachusetts. She has two adult sons.

Customer Reviews

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What a great way to introduce a young audience to Broadway!
Lisa Barker
It is chock full of colorful illustrations, and offers many theatrical terms and stories that would make any newcomer enjoy their live theater adventure.
Madeline
This book would be a great read for students of theatre arts and a wonderful gift for the teachers of drama and musical comedy.
Lynn Cardiff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Using an alphabetic approach, "Lights On Broadway: A Theatrical Tour From A To Z" by children's author Harriet Ziefert and Tony Award winning actor Brian Stokes Mitchell, provides young readers with an informed and informative introduction and overview of what goes on 'behind the scenes' of a theatre production. From 'A' is for audition to 'Z' is for zing, "Lights On Broadway" is colorfully illustrated by the energetic artwork of Elliot Kreloff. Enhanced with the accompany CD of 'I Was here' by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (and performed by Brian Stokes Mitchell), "Lights On Broadway" is as fun and entertaining as it is educational, making it enthusiastically recommended for family, school, and community library collections.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Cardiff on October 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Lights of Broadway is a book that shines as brightly as Times Square on New Year's Eve. It is a beautiful book for children 8 to 80 who love the theatre. Even the cover of the book shines as light reflects off its face and the reader can find much to read and remember about people and shows that make our lives richer and more exciting. There is even a CD enclosed in the back of the book with a song that was written by the author, Brian Stokes Mitchell. This book would be a great read for students of theatre arts and a wonderful gift for the teachers of drama and musical comedy. This is a delightful book for any one who loves the Lights of Broadway and wants a tour behind the scenes and in front of the camera.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alan W. Petrucelli on October 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway.
Things are pretty bright on paper too.
And that's because of "Lights on Broadway: A Theatrical Tour From A to Z, a new book in which the bright lights of Broadway, as well as many other theatrical wonders, vividly come to life. The words are by Harriet Ziefert, but the real "stars" here are Elliot Kreloff's colorful and energetic illustrations and the quotes from Broadway luminaries such as Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin Kline, Nathan Lane, Billy Crudup, Harvey Fierstein and Stephen Sondheim.
Entries for each letter of the alphabet introduce readers to behind-the-scenes Broadway: A for audition, actor, audience and applause; M for marquee and matinee; S for stage, scenery, script and set. And so the stage is set for a world involving the Tony Award, the many people it takes to bring a performance to life, the information printed on a ticket and other essential backstage babble.
Another performer front and center (or it is that front and end?) is Brian Stokes Mitchell, the award-winning thespian and the present president of The Actors Fund. At the book's beginning, he gushes: "Welcome to my house, my home, my Broadway! As you take this very special tour, perhaps you too will be ignited by the incredible collaborative magic that gives life and light to the theater."
At the finish, he coos: "Unlike a movie or television program that is the same no matter where you sit or when you see it, live theater is custom-built for each audience. Every performance is different and every individual in that audience has a unique experience that won't be repeated ever again. It's what gives the theater and life. ZING!"
By the way, the book comes with a CD featuring the single "I Was Here," written (in ragtime?
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
The Broadway stage is one of the most exciting, mesmerizing places anyone could choose to be. There are a lot of things going on before you buy that ticket to get into the theater and this amazing ABCs of the lights on Broadway will guide you though the process from the actors to the sets to the Tony Awards and beyond. Each Broadway letter will give you a lot more than just one descriptive word. For example when we see the letter "O," for orchestra there is a two-page vibrant spread showing everyone hard at work. We learn about the sections of the orchestra, the definition of the word, we learn about the overture, the conductor, the composer, the lyricist and we hear little vignettes from Carol Channing, Sid Ramin, and Lowell Jay Hershey. This is one marvelous way to learn all about the workings of the theater!

This amazing book shows just how bright the lights are on Broadway. When I first picked up the book, I didn't notice for a few pages that it was actually an ABC book of the theater. This book is very vibrant and, after I started playing the CD track "I Was Here," the whole atmosphere of the theater itself came alive as I read. This would be an excellent book for everyone, not just a young person to learn about what goes on in the theater. I loved the busy, busy, busy pages and the numerous quotations from actors and others such as stage designers that added immeasurably to the exciting aura this book creates. Want to learn about what goes on in the theater? This would make a perfect choice!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kay M. Everett on December 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I GAVE THIS BOOK TO TWO VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE THIS SEASON. THE FIRST ONE WAS MY DAUGHTER WHO SPENT HER LIFE ON THE STAGE AS A NYC ROCKETTE AND IN BROADWAY SHOWS. SHE HAS SINCE MARRIED, HAS HER FIRST CHILD AND THE BOOK WAS FOR HIM. I WANTED MY GRANDCHILD TO LOVE AND UNDERTAND THE THEATER AS WE DO. MY DAUGHTER KNOWS MICHAEL AND WAS THRILLED TO RECEIVE THIS WONDERFUL BOOK.

THE SECOND BOOK WENT TO A LIFELONG FRIEND WHO WAS A PROFESSIONAL BALLERINA AND SHE ALSO IS MARRIED WITH THREE BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN. SHE WAS SO EMOTIONAL ABOUT THE BOOK THAT ALL SHE COULD DO WAS CRY. LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT. YOU KNOW, ONCE YOU'VE BEEN THERE, THAT'S WHERE YOUR HEART STAYS. THANK YOU MICHAEL FOR WRITING SUCH A DETAILED BOOK ABOUT THE STAGE AND ALL THE WONDERFUL THINGS INVOLVED WITH IT.

WILL GIVE THE BOOK TO AS MANY FRIENDS AS I CAN THAT ALSO LOVE THE THEATER.
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