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12 DAYS OF NEW YORK by Tonya Bolden


by Tonya Bolden ; illustrated by Gilbert Ford

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: March 12th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0542*
Publisher: Abrams

A class trip to the Big Apple is played out as a variation of the "Twelve Days of Christmas."

The teacher and five children cover the must-see sights of New York City, but they find its exciting quirkiness even more fascinating. Each day and sight has its own double-page spread with the rhythmic text prominently placed. A few word bubbles allow additional comments. Only the Statue of Liberty is actually named in the song, while all the other sights are indicated by something noticed there. They see "Two Folks in Love" in a buggy in Central Park and "Eight Babes a-Bawling" in Grand Central Station, along with the nine other places that add up to 12 days of sightseeing. (One can only begin to imagine at the budget that allows this lengthy a stay.) Ford's illustrations, rendered in a variety of media including India ink, gouache, dyes and Photoshop, depict the city in bright, glowing tones that are cartoonlike but manage to capture the essence of the people and places. Unfortunately, they also include some disturbing elements underneath the lightheartedness. One child uses a slingshot at the Statue of Liberty, another young visitor gets into the dinosaur exhibit at the Museum of Natural History, and ethnic and class stereotypes abound at several of the places visited.

Skip this tour. (Picture book. 5-8)