12 Days of New York

Overview


  When a group of students wins a trip to New York City, accompanied by their teacher, they aren’t sure where to start. Soon enough, they’re roaming the city, from the Statue of Liberty to Times Square, from Chinatown to Central Park, in order to discover what makes New York one of the greatest cities on Earth.
Structured like the popular song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” Tonya Bolden’s text captures the fun and fast-paced spirit of New York, while Gilbert Ford’s illustrations embody its dynamic beauty ...
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Overview


  When a group of students wins a trip to New York City, accompanied by their teacher, they aren’t sure where to start. Soon enough, they’re roaming the city, from the Statue of Liberty to Times Square, from Chinatown to Central Park, in order to discover what makes New York one of the greatest cities on Earth.
Structured like the popular song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” Tonya Bolden’s text captures the fun and fast-paced spirit of New York, while Gilbert Ford’s illustrations embody its dynamic beauty and odd quirks. The book includes a map of all five boroughs of the city highlighting kid-friendly places to see when you visit.

Praise for 12 Days of New York
"Ford's illustrations, rendered in a variety of media including India ink, gouache, dyes and Photoshop, depict the city in bright, glowing tones that are cartoonlike but manage to capture the essence of the people and places."
Kirkus Reviews

"Ford’s mixed-media art features chunky India ink outlines and a broad palette that portrays afternoon, twilight, indoor, and outdoor scenes with equal skill… While the venues are recognizable, the adventurous perspectives Ford uses gives them a welcome freshness."
Publishers Weekly

"Richly colored cartoon illustrations, with a dialogue bubble here and there for added humor, depict the wide-eyed characters and their surroundings with a fair amount of detail without overwhelming… A jolly jaunt introducing a few classic Big Apple landmarks."
Booklist

"Vibrant illustration."
School Library Journal

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bolden (Finding Family) riffs on “The Twelve Days of Christmas” in this tour of New York City, chronicled by a visiting teacher and her students: “On our first day in New York,/ Just guess what we did see.../ The Statue of Liberty.” While Bolden’s verse may not be quite as mellifluous as the original, it still provides a satisfying overview of the city’s highlights as the crew treks to Chinatown for “Six Treats Amazing”; Grand Central Station, where there are “Eight Babes a-Bawling”; and the South Street Seaport to hear 12 drummers drumming. Ford’s (Flying Lessons) mixed-media art features chunky India ink outlines and a broad palette that portrays afternoon, twilight, indoor, and outdoor scenes with equal skill. Better yet, while the venues are recognizable, the adventurous perspectives Ford uses (an extreme close-up of the Statue of Liberty’s face, for instance) give them a welcome freshness. A map on a final spread identifies all the stops in the book and points out other areas of interest. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Jennifer Lyons, Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Five students and their teacher arrive in The Big Apple to see the sights. From the Statue of Liberty, through Coney Island, the American Museum of Natural History, and ending at the South Street Seaport, the children get caught up in the vibe of the city. Bolden uses "The Twelve Days of Christmas" as a model for her text, which seems an odd choice, and the locales that the visitors choose (named only in the back matter) are odder still. A helpful map that orients viewers is appended. While some of the sights are iconic (the Empire State Building, for example), many of the others are not and children will be hard-pressed to identify what they are seeing. Even the vibrant illustrations are of no help in that regard. For example, the spread of Grand Central Station bears no sign identifying it as such, and the text cites "eight babes-a-bawling." Indeed, there are eight babies crying in the art but what they have to do with Grand Central Station is puzzling. Bolden does succeed in capturing the feel of the city, but the information is too spare for children to learn much from it. Stronger books that will give a greater sense of New York include Laura Krauss Melmed's New York, New York! From A to Z (HarperCollins, 2005) and Roxie Munro's The Inside-Outside Book of New York City (Putnam, 1985).—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Kirkus Reviews
A class trip to the Big Apple is played out as a variation of the "Twelve Days of Christmas." The teacher and five children cover the must-see sights of New York City, but they find its exciting quirkiness even more fascinating. Each day and sight has its own double-page spread with the rhythmic text prominently placed. A few word bubbles allow additional comments. Only the Statue of Liberty is actually named in the song, while all the other sights are indicated by something noticed there. They see "Two Folks in Love" in a buggy in Central Park and "Eight Babes a-Bawling" in Grand Central Station, along with the nine other places that add up to 12 days of sightseeing. (One can only begin to imagine at the budget that allows this lengthy a stay.) Ford's illustrations, rendered in a variety of media including India ink, gouache, dyes and Photoshop, depict the city in bright, glowing tones that are cartoonlike but manage to capture the essence of the people and places. Unfortunately, they also include some disturbing elements underneath the lightheartedness. One child uses a slingshot at the Statue of Liberty, another young visitor gets into the dinosaur exhibit at the Museum of Natural History, and ethnic and class stereotypes abound at several of the places visited. Skip this tour. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419705427
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/12/2013
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 631,586
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Tonya Bolden has written numerous award-winning books for kids, including Maritcha, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. She lives in New York City. Gilbert Ford has illustrated the covers for the Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch, Horton Halfpott, and Peter Nimble. He lives in New York City.
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