The jazzy duet of poet Nikki Grimes and Artist Pat Cummings is rhythmically played in their ABC book collaboration. The text tunefully sings, "B is for butcher or/ breakfast with bagels/ or block-party bands/ out on hot summer nights." The art is alive with the intense colors of the bustling city. Sophisticated, energetic, with a frenzied beat, Gershwin's Concerto in F (Allegro agitato) with its driving rhythms is a natural musical accompaniment.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3In this rhyming alphabet book, each letter represents different New York City experiencese.g., ``A is for arcade or ads for apartments.../B is for butcher or/breakfast with bagels/or block-party bands/out on hot summer nights. C is for city/or cabbies named Clarence/or cool cats who chat/under boulevard lights.'' Many of the arresting images reflect the ethnic, religious, and economic diversity of urban life. From a sleek sports car with a bejeweled Afghan to tawdry fortune tellers and other entertainers, a wide range of people and neighborhoods are depicted. The rhythm of the verses is also varied, but it is always interesting and right on target for the audience. Illustrations in vivid, neon colors suggest the electricity and brashness of a loud city with its hard edges as well as the teeming population. In addition to the letter-specific items mentioned, others are incorporated into the pictures for sharp-eyed viewers to find. An entertaining selection along the lines of ``A my name is Alice,'' set in the Big Apple.Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY