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123 NYC


Dugan revisits the streets and skyscrapers of New York City for this follow-up photo essay to ABC/NYC (2005), pairing color shots of painted or sculpted numbers from one to 20, with black-and-white views of clocks, children, wheels, architectural details, bagels, bridges and more. The previous outing contained some bobbles, but here her choices for topics and photo techniques are spot on, without arty blurring or references to colors that aren’t shown. Subjects are presented in a mix of collective single shots, like a mouthwatering stack of eight pretzels, and galleries—including among the latter such riveting arrays as nine public sculptures, 12 outdoor clocks and 19 different kinds of pet animal. Adding captions designed to spur closer looks—“10 shoes. Do you have a favorite?”—Dugan not only invites viewers to sharpen their powers of observation, but communicates an infectious enthusiasm for noticing details that will have children surveying their own surroundings with new eyes. Locations for each picture are specified in the endnotes. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8109-1381-X

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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A series of rollicking riddles with unexpected answers. In the first spread, the picture on the left apparently shows a rabbit in silhouette while the short verse on the right provides the clues: “He steals carrots... / His floppy ears are long and funny. / Can you guess who? That’s right! My….” Turn the page for the answer: “Grandpa Ned.” (Ned’s upside-down, with socks half-pulled off to resemble rabbit ears.) Grandpa Ned turns up twice more, as the answer to a riddle that seems to be about a cat and later as the setup answer to another riddle. The book’s four other riddles involve a pirate, snow creatures, a mouse hole and a dark cave. A lifting flap and a gatefold add tactile interest. Rex’s straightforward gouache-and–mixed-media illustrations downplay the mischief of the premise, appropriately lobbing visual softballs at an audience disoriented by the goof on a tried-and-true formula they’ve encountered over and over. In all, it’s a refreshing (albeit slight) spoof for jaded young readers who have aced easy Q&A books; some may find it too cool for the room. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4169-5566-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2009

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Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children.

Social-equity themes are presented to children in ABC format.

Terms related to intersectional inequality, such as “class,” “gender,” “privilege,” “oppression,” “race,” and “sex,” as well as other topics important to social justice such as “feminism,” “human being,” “immigration,” “justice,” “kindness,” “multicultural,” “transgender,” “understanding,” and “value” are named and explained. There are 26 in all, one for each letter of the alphabet. Colorful two-page spreads with kid-friendly illustrations present each term. First the term is described: “Belief is when you are confident something exists even if you can’t see it. Lots of different beliefs fill the world, and no single belief is right for everyone.” On the facing page it concludes: “B is for BELIEF / Everyone has different beliefs.” It is hard to see who the intended audience for this little board book is. Babies and toddlers are busy learning the names for their body parts, familiar objects around them, and perhaps some basic feelings like happy, hungry, and sad; slightly older preschoolers will probably be bewildered by explanations such as: “A value is an expression of how to live a belief. A value can serve as a guide for how you behave around other human beings. / V is for VALUE / Live your beliefs out loud.”

Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children. (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-742-8

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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