The creators of An English Year (2015) cross the pond for glimpses of an annual round in the Empire State.
In a set of monthly spreads, a conspicuously diverse cast of children present a random-feeling mix of seasonal activities and festivities, mostly in the Big Apple. These include snuggling down to watch videos on a cold day, taking in a Yankees game, passing the challah on Shabbat, wolfing down torrone in Little Italy, visiting museums either in the city or as far away as Rochester and Cooperstown, celebrating holidays ranging from President’s Day to Chinese New Year and Sukkot. Excepting Oktoberfest, Festivus, and a few others, the entries all feature an identifying or explanatory comment with a small, brightly idealized cartoon image. Unsurprisingly, such a quick, broad sweep is as subject to errors as it is to omissions, but aside from the claim that “New York City is on Manhattan Island,” none are real howlers. The author’s avowed focus on “traditional endemic elements and themes” common to “the majority of New York’s children” takes readers beyond the city limits to convey a sense of the whole state’s ethnic multiplicity. A Texas Year publishes simultaneously.
A multicultural tasting platter—conscientiously varied if a bit bland overall and thin fare for tourists. (map, state facts) (Informational picture book. 6-8)