Patience and Fortitude slip off their plinths in front of the New York Public Library for a Coney Island jaunt.
Joining the gallery of artists who have brought the library’s lions to life, Boehman crafts a wordless sojourn featuring a pair of big cats who turn yellow when the sun goes down. Positively aglow with smiling bonhomie as well as color, they ride the F train (visible to children, unnoticed by the grown-ups) into Brooklyn for a night of fun. In a mix of full-page or -spread illustrations and large sequential panels, the New York scenes start out primarily in monochrome but switch to glittering hues as the lions, sometimes going on two legs, sometimes on four, enjoy hot dogs and ice cream under the bright lights, win a big pink plush bear, ride the Cyclone, visit the beach and the aquarium, and finally make their way back to the subway and home. There, they are greeted by a descendant of their original designer, Edward Clark Potter, illustrated as a dapper librarian who reads them a story and adds the bear to a pile of stuffed toys in his office while the lions climb back onto their perches in the brightening dawn. The art features glimpses of familiar book titles as well as plenty of accurately rendered local details and properly diverse city residents (Potter is white). The illustrator’s closing note fills in historical background on the lions and their creators.
An affectionate tribute to some of New York City’s iconic residents and institutions. (Picture book. 5-8)