As Larry Gets Lost again per series formula, the dog and his boy, Pete, look for alphabet letters and explore New York City.
The sights they take in are sometimes specific and sometimes generic, but they are mostly iconic: “C is for Central Park and the Chrysler building,” while “D is for deli.” “W is for Wall Street,” and “Y is for Yankee Stadium” exemplify New York City, but “I is for ice cream” seems a bit of a stretch. Several entries will require some context for many readers, such as “A is for art” (a lineup of Warhol soup cans at the Museum of Modern Art); “H is for the High Line”; and “V is for the Village” (Greenwich Village, that is). In Skewes’ retro-styled illustrations, Pete is a white boy who looks a bit like Elroy Jetson, with hair puffing out from beneath the brim of a baseball cap, and Larry is similarly stylized. The mostly silhouetted background figures that occasionally appear do nothing to convey the city’s tremendous cultural diversity. The pages are largely just one- or two-color designs in a sophisticated palette that occasionally works against meaning: The blue-on-blue “N is for neon at night” (in Times Square) is devoid of neon. The square size makes the pages feel cramped. NY Is for New York, by Paul Thurlby (2017), does much the same thing and is far more attractive.
Larry could use a better compass. (Picture book. 5-7)