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NEW YORK, NEW YORK; The Big Apple from A to Z

Author: Laura Krauss Melmed

Illustrator: Frane Lessac

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, ©2008

Material: paperback

Summary: Explore Manhattan, starting at the American Museum of Natural History and ending your tour at the Bronx Zoo. All along the way you'll stop by some spots you recognize, and some you don't, all the while learning facts about each place you visit. This is an illustrated tour of New York that takes you to all the corners of Manhattan.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, early reader book, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 10; read yourself: 11 and up

Interest Level: 5 to 9

Age of Child: Read with 6½-year old child.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter was more interested in our personal stories about New York's landmarks than in reading the text. We never were able to get her engaged in the book.

Adult Reader Reaction: We love Manhattan and particularly liked this book, as it expands a reader's view beyond the usual landmarks. The author did an incredible job with the rhymes, took you to new places, and gave you lots of wonderful facts. Thanks for the index in the back!

Pros: This is a great pre-trip travel guide or post-trip book for New York City. Younger kids will like remembering the sites they've seen, older kids (and adults) will appreciate many of the facts scattered throughout.

Cons: This is not a book for reading in one sitting. It's a book to be explored over time. Although the publisher says that it is for kids 6 to 11, and one reviewer says it is for preschool to second grade, the reading level on this book is 8th grader (13 and up).

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is an interesting book, but unless you collect alphabet books or love New York, it probably isn't one you'll want for your personal library.

If You Liked This Book, Try: WHAT PETE ATE FROM A to Z   TAKE A CITY NATURE WALK (Talk a Walk Book Series)   H IS FOR HOME RUN; A BASEBALL ALPHABET

Educational Themes: It would be a stretch to use this as a learn-your-ABCs book. By the time kids can appreciate the content, they know their letters. Still, it is a fun way to visit New York. One way to make the book fun would be to compile (and then explore) an A-to-Z tour of your own hometown.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book, ABCs, remedial reading, New York

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2008

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