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THE ELEVATOR MAN by Stanley Trachtenberg Kirkus Star


by Stanley Trachtenberg and illustrated by Paul Cox

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5315-8
Publisher: Eerdmans

Nathan loves riding in his apartment building’s old elevator with the kind Elevator Man, who lets him turn a handle to move the car up and down. When a renovation replaces the antiquated elevator with a modern one, Nathan frowns at the new shiny buttons and worries about the fate of his friend. Swirling watercolor illustrations capture fast-paced urban activity, while yellows, oranges and light blues bring warmth to Nathan’s city life. Cox’s illustrations float on white space, appearing as colorful cloud formations without panels or borders. Readers’ eyes move easily from image to image, using the artwork as stepping stones to cross rather significant streams of text. Trachtenberg’s clear, straightforward language remains reassuring, however, giving beginning readers simple sentence structures they can handle. While Nathan’s apartment life and evident affluence might distance him from some suburban or less moneyed children, this sweet picture book’s ornate illustrations and sentimental tone (much like earlier, unabashed urban stories like Eloise or Make Way For Ducklings) makes for universal, lasting enjoyment. (Picture book. 5-8)