FIORELLO: His Honor the Little Flower by Gloria Kamen

FIORELLO: His Honor the Little Flower

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A fond if sketchy portrait of the 5'2"", cowboy-hatted Little Flower, who was born on Sullivan Street of immigrant Jewish-Italian parents but grew up in an adobe house on a fort in Arizona. La Guardia championed the poor, workers, and immigrants from his law school days on; got the Republican nomination for Congress because no one else wanted it; beat out the Tammany gang to run New York City; arrested Lucky Luciano on his first day in office; and put people to work planting trees and building playgrounds, bridges, highways, and housing. Kamen also shows the little mayor reading Dick Tracy over the radio during the newspaper strike and probing specimens at the Fulton Fish Market as research for his radio-broadcast food shopping trips. (""He recommended fish so often that some New Yorkers gave him the nickname, 'The Little-Flounder!' "") One might wish for more concrete narration overall, and a stroke or two of context for perspective. (There's not a word of FDR or the New Deal, though some of the comparisons might turn out to Fiorello's advantage.) But today's kids may need a little giant killer--and with copy like this, it's hard to lose.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1981
Publisher: Atheneum