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My New York: New Anniversary Edition    by Kathy Jakobsen order for
My New York
by Kathy Jakobsen
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2003 (1993)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Wow! Kathy Jakobsen shows us the Big Apple in all its glittering splendour in My New York. This 10th anniversary edition includes 7 foldout scenes and 23 new paintings - one of which (also on the cover and on a holiday card attached inside) is of a gorgeous Christmas tree and ice skating at the Rockefeller Center. A map at the beginning can be used to located all the places mentioned.

Becky lives near the New York Public Library, her favorite place in the city and one that makes her 'feel important.' Becky's artist mom takes her on weekly expeditions, beginning with the zoo where 'most of the animals aren't in cages.' Next, she finds a carousel in the park and an Antiques Fair. Becky heads to D'Aiuto's for cheesecake with her friend Martin. They go to see the Intrepid ('a real aircraft carrier from World War II'), and view the city from the observation deck of the Empire State Building.

Becky shows us Wall Street and her 'favorite toy store, FAO Schwarz'. She takes us to the harbor and the Statue of Liberty for the Fourth - there the night-time fireworks display is spectacular, including 'two columns of light where the Twin Towers used to be.' She shares with us what she sees of Central Park and the 'whispering room' in Grand Central, 'terrible lizards' at the Museum of Natural History, the universe at Rose Center, and all the wonders of the Met.

We meet Guardian Angels on the Subway, and learn about the Tree of Hope in Harlem. Becky shows us a Halloween parade in Greenwich Village, foodstalls in Chinatown, The New York City Marathon, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, ice skating at the Rockefeller Center, and Times Square at New Year. The book ends with 'Fun Facts about New York' and a challenge to readers to find small items in the paintings.

As Becky finds her way around New York, the city becomes familiar and friendly to the reader as well. The illustrations are colorful and packed with fascinating detail, which kids will enjoy exploring. Anyone who lives in New York, or ever plans a trip there with children, should acquire this superb picture book and discover the glories of the city together.

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