Central Park Serenade

Central Park Serenade

by Laura Godwin, Barry Root
     
 

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And the pigeons coo And the big dogs bark And the noises echo through the park.

Laura Godwin and Barry Root use lyrical verse and lush illustrations to take readers on a stroll through New York City's Central Park. The picturesque sights, the rhythmic sounds-all of the park's eclectic culture is captured beautifully.

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Overview

And the pigeons coo And the big dogs bark And the noises echo through the park.

Laura Godwin and Barry Root use lyrical verse and lush illustrations to take readers on a stroll through New York City's Central Park. The picturesque sights, the rhythmic sounds-all of the park's eclectic culture is captured beautifully.

Central Park Serenade is a tribute to one of the most famous parks in the world as well as a celebration of the Joy any special place can offer.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Central Park hums with activity in this convivial paean to a beloved refuge in the heart of Manhattan. In breezy rhymed couplets, Godwin (The Doll People) conveys the park's sounds and sights on a summer day ("Striike one! Striike two! An umpire's call. Craaack! Whoosh! Retorts the ball"). Verses that describe people's varied doings alternate with the refrain, "And the pigeons coo And the big dogs bark And the noises echo through the park." Root's (Cowboy Dreams) vibrantly hued, intentionally hazy paintings chronicle the goings-on described in the text and then some. The spread for the title page offers readers a peek into the window of an apartment building, where a boy sleeps, a model sailboat hanging on the wall above his bed. On subsequent spreads, the boy (sailboat in hand) and his father leave their building and walk to the park, where they meet up with two young pals and sail their toy boats in the pond. The wordless subplot invites youngsters to follow its principal players while taking in the more encompassing portrait of the bustling park. Offering a melodic read-aloud, this aptly titled, buoyant book should please young city- and country-dwellers alike. Ages 3-5. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
The talents of author and illustrator combine to praise the best-known park in the United States and perhaps in the world. The rhyming text captures the sounds while the watercolor paintings capture the sights of the people, pets and vehicles in the park. The joggers and walkers, the toddlers and nannies, the folks in a hurry and those resting on the grass are all included to show the scope and space of this diverse playground and resting place in the midst of the bustling island of Manhattan. While New Yorkers might be most likely to enjoy sharing this book with a child, readers need not be familiar with the park to appreciate the expressive verse and the warm detail of the paintings. Little ones will react to the sounds as in, "Boom, boom, boom, /A drummer plays/As the sun sends down its summer rays." The refrain, "And the pigeons coo/And the big dogs bark/And the noises echo through the park" is changed on the last page to read, "And the pigeons coo/And the dogs still bark/But sleep has come to Central Park," giving it a gentle, comforting ending. 2002, Joanna Cotler Books/HarperCollins,
— Carolyn Mott Ford <%ISBN%>0060258918
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-While this book is an homage to Central Park, it is also a celebration of the people of New York City. The loving description includes verbal images and illustrations that work together seamlessly to present a joyful, busy portrait. Godwin's verses allow readers to feel as though they are in the park, hearing all the noises of a busy summer day. Buses pass by the entrance with horns blaring. Children cry, play, skate, and explore. With very few words, the author creates a living picture of the city and its green space. The illustrations are equally masterful. The proliferation of green and gold in the pictures reminds readers of the season and appear cool, calm, and serene, even with all the activity depicted. A multitude of families appears in the art, also highlighting the diversity of the city. Maps on the endpapers give readers an idea of the immensity of the area. This book will interest children who visit parks in their own town, but it will be a great addition to readers who may be traveling or want to learn more about New York. A true love song to Central Park.-Susan Marie Pitard, formerly at Weezie Library for Children, Nantucket Atheneum, MA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Catchy couplets and luscious full-bleed illustrations combine in this joyous celebration of a Central Park summer. The title spread, bathed in the golden glow of sunrise, sets the tone as a child, model boat above his bed, sleeps in his park-side bedroom. Rich earth tones emanate warmth as the child, boat in hand and father by his side, stands on the busy street corner about to enter the park. ("Beep, beep, beep, / A taxi calls. / But the traffic creeps and the traffic crawls / Honk, honk, honk. / A bus drives by. / A startled baby starts to cry.") The next spread offers a bird's-eye view and introduces the title's refrain: "And the pigeons coo / And the big dogs bark / And the noises echo through the park." Subsequent spreads highlight, among other events, a steel drum performance ("Boom, boom, boom, / A drummer plays"), and a baseball game ("Striike one! Striike two! An umpire's call. / Craaack! Whoosh! retorts the ball"). In all, the boy, his father, and friends blend into the background. The foursome finally comes into focus when they reach the boating pond. Buttery sails dominate the centerfold as the children kneel at water's edge with their remote controls. The final spread brings the story full circle as the boy hangs his boat above his bed and sunset settles over the park. Children will enjoy spotting the boy and his boat in each scene and the repeated refrain invites participation. Endpapers feature a map of Central Park with labeled landmarks. Very inviting. (Picture book. 3-5)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060258917
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/28/2002
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Laura Godwin, author of Forest, has written several I Can Read Books under the pen name Nola Buck, including the popular Creepy Crawly Critters and Other Halloween Tongue Twisters and Santas Short Suit Shrunk and Other Christmas Tongue Twisters, both illustrated by Sue Truesdell. Ms. Godwin lives in New York City.

Barry Root has illustrated eighteen books for children, including Someplace Else, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Childrens Book. He lives in Lancaster County, PA, with his wife, two children, and two dogs.

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