Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by William Low & illustrated by William Low

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: April 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-8050-7925-4
Publisher: Henry Holt

In celebration of one of New York City’s vanished glories, Low recreates in words and pictures the ornately decorated, girders-and-glass-ceiling wonder that was old Penn Station. In the text, he covers its history, from construction as a depot for the once-mighty Pennsylvania Railroad to its demolition and far less imposing replacement in the mid-1960s; the full-bleed paintings add impressionistic backgrounds, with hazy scenes of commuters lit by sunlight or lamps, passing through or lingering below soaring architectural spaces. Noting that the destruction of this “palace” created such a public backlash that the Landmarks Preservation Commission was formed—in time to save another gem, Grand Central Station—Low closes with the thought that buildings can be powerful symbols, “the heart and soul of all great cities.” Young readers, New York residents or not, will be more likely to look up the next time they’re downtown, and to understand that every structure has a unique story. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-9)