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A Big City ABC    by Allan Moak order for
Big City ABC
by Allan Moak
Order:  USA  Can
Tundra, 2002 (1984)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The cover makes me smile as the island ferry is such a familiar and beloved symbol of Toronto life. But though this picture book is based on a particular city seen through children's eyes, its busy scenes are reminiscent of many major centers in North America. Allan Moak gives us an affectionate, child-centered picture of urban life from 'A is for Art' (showing kids playing outside the Art Gallery of Ontario) to 'Z is for Zoo' in which children paint a colorful mural of zoo animals.

There's also a baseball game, a castle, a deli, an excavation, fireworks, a greenhouse, horses, the island ferry, a junk store, kites flying, a lifeguard, the market, a neighborhood, an October scene, a park, the queen's statue, a rink, the science center, a tugboat, umbrellas, a variety store, winter, the Ex (summer exhibition and midway), and Yuletide (with Santa on a roof!) At the back is a brief introduction to the featured city - Toronto, Ontario - with a paragraph of background information on each of the pages of this delightful picture book.

A Big City ABC ends with a gorgeous sunset skyscape of the city seen from a canoe in the water. It's a wonderful picture book for exploring city life with children - either those already familiar with it or rural kids who want to know more - and is a must read for kids who live in Toronto or plan to visit it.

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