B IS FOR BROOKLYN by Selina Alko


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Age Range: 3 - 7
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An engaging and hip alphabetical trip through the largest and most populous of New York City’s five boroughs—Kings County—better known as Brooklyn.

The Canadian-born Alko embraces her adopted borough. She's a curious and avid collector of human experience and visual delights. The book is organized alphabetically but eccentrically. For example, "ornaments," "Ocean Parkway," "organic foods" and the "Old Stone House" (George Washington’s headquarters during the Battle of Brooklyn) all appear on the same letter “O” page. Despite these and other Brooklyn "insider" choices, readers will be attracted by the book’s kid-centric style and hold on for the Cyclonelike roller-coaster ride ("C"—"Coney Island") because of the book’s celebratory look and feel. Kaleidoscopic mixed-media pages (gouache and collage) are chockablock with vibrant images that fairly burst from the pages. A pleasantly informative author’s note and a rudimentary map attempt to orient and situate the reader. Though families who seek a simple and straightforward “A is for apple”–style alphabet book will be disappointed, the more venturesome will want to pay a visit to Brooklyn and return to sample the book's (and borough's) vitality over and over again.

It is said that one in every seven Americans has Brooklyn roots; this lively love song to Brooklyn’s 2.5 million people and nearly 82 square miles is a welcome celebration of its rich ethnic, culinary, racial and religious diversity. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9213-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2012


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