Reviewed by Phyllis Jennings, Librarian, Research and Instructional Services
This is the children’s alphabet book I have been waiting for. It is more fun than a McDonald’s playground and twice as original!
Alphabet books abound- some are based on animals, garden flowers, or popular characters in children’s books; here is one based on the metropolis. From the A of a construction site sawhorse to the Z of a tenement stairway, this book takes you on a tour of New York City in refreshing and original ways. The author/illustrator, Stephen Johnson, tells us: “The idea for Alphabet City came to me while I was walking along a city street. I noticed an ornamental keystone that looked like the letter S . Then suddenly I saw the letter A in a construction sawhorse and the letter Z in fire-escapes.”
Realistic pastel, charcoal, and watercolor paintings in a colorful, simple format will appeal to readers of all ages. You will soon find yourself looking for alphabet letters as you take your daily walk, with or without a child in tow. After you turn the last page, you’ll be happy to learn that this book has a companion titled City by Numbers, available at most public libraries.