I live in Brooklyn. From days on the stoop, playing hopscotch and watching fireworks from the rooftops, to school field trips into the city, where zoos and museums await, Michelle introduces readers to her favorite places and things to do.
Mari Takabayashi’s diminutive scenes, busy with cheerful detail, bring the beauty and bustle of New York City to life for children all around the world.
Kindergarten-Grade 3-Six-year-old Michelle lives in Brooklyn with her mother, father, and little sister. A map of the U.S. highlights New York State while another one of Brooklyn showcases some neighborhoods as well as its proximity to the other boroughs. A bird’s-eye view of the narrator’s home reveals rows of attached buildings amid lush greenery. The child tells about her family, her school day, and seasonal activities-trick-or-treating, sledding in Prospect Park, blowing bubbles on the stoop, watching the Fourth of July fireworks from the rooftop, and taking the subway to Coney Island. The book’s layout and the appealing, childlike watercolor illustrations are similar to those in Takabayashi’s I Live in Tokyo(Houghton, 2001). Set against crisp, white borders, the vibrant folk-art paintings vary in size from quarter-page images to full spreads. However, Michelle visits Central Park, the Museum of Natural History, Fifth Avenue, and the farmer’s market in Union Square, and the author neglects to mention that these places are not in Brooklyn. Also, she never really captures the true flavor of the borough. While youngsters may be inspired to write and draw about their own lives after reading this tale, they will learn little about this diverse, historic place.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools
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