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New York, New York!: The Big Apple from A to Z    by Laura Krauss Melmed & Frane Lessac order for
New York, New York!
by Laura Krauss Melmed
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Whether you have visited New York City, live there, or want to take a trip by way of a book, New York, New York! is an exceptional choice. Laura Krauss Melmed literally takes the reader on a tour of 'The Big Apple' from A for the American Museum of Natural History, through Z for the Bronx Zoo. The glorious, deep color illustrations by Frane Lessac in this oversized book display art centers, museums, Wall Street, and historic sites.

Each location is spread across two pages, accompanied by Melmed's verses, and factoids pointing to specific items in the pictures. 'You'll find hundreds of green acres / And a zillion things to do: / Skating, rowing, horseback riding, And The carousel and zoo' is the author's take on Central Park, where the 'Great Lawn', a 'Boating Pond', and a statue from 'Alice in Wonderland' are identified. Turn the book sideways to glimpse the magnificent structure of the Empire State Building - 'At this quarter-mile-high building / Find an 80-mile-wide view / All the way to Massachusetts / And to Pennsylvania, too.' Do you know that the building is 1,453 feet in height, has 102 floors, 6,500 windows, and 73 elevators?

Fifth Avenue is the place to be for the Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Museum of Modern Art, and to stroll up and down the Avenue on Easter Sunday, wearing your hat. Nothing is more grand than visiting busy Grand Central Terminal, Madison Square Garden, or Times Square, where the ball drops on New Year's Eve, amidst thousands of people cheering from all over the world. (When I was there, I met people from Africa, Arabia, and England standing right next to me!) Buy a ticket at Castle Clinton in Battery Park to travel by boat to the Statue of Liberty, located where the East River and the Hudson River meet. The author writes, 'As a sign of hope and freedom ... She's the lady of the harbor ... Ellis Island is her neighbor'.

Laura Krauss Melmed has created a wunderbar book of the constantly active City, consisting of five boroughs, and also known as 'the melting pot'. Lessac's illustrations include a map to give the reader an overall view of locations from 'A to Z'. I highly recommend New York, New York! : The Big Apple from A to Z for youngsters and adults alike, to read and view the famous City.

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