How to Get Famous in Brooklyn

How to Get Famous in Brooklyn

by Amy Hest, Linda Dalal Sawaya

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a sort of junior version of Hest's novel The Private Notebook of Katie Roberts, Age 11 (reviewed June 5), a strong-minded protagonist fills the pages of this picture book with ``her'' art and stories about her contemporary Brooklyn neighborhood. Much of the text is set on the ruled sheets of a spiral-bound notebook, presumably the repository for young Janie's observant jottings and drawings. From the women who frequent Margie's Hair Palace ``to try and get gorgeous'' to Mo and his wife at the corner deli, Janie has something to say about all the locals. The friendly hustle and bustle of community life is captured well, as is Janie's child's-eye view-who is building a swimming pool, which shops are kid-friendly, who sells the best fudge sundaes. Debut artist Sawaya's bright, people-filled acrylic paintings warmly document local life, the simplicity of folk art permeating her illustrations as if to suggest a child's vision. The image of Janie prowling the blocks or sitting scribbling on her front stoop in each frame may inspire readers to begin a little journal-keeping of their own. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Janie is a genuine Brooklynite. She has a keen eye for the details of her neighborhood and records them all in her spiral-bound notebook. She's up-front about the purpose of her work-spying! Through her eyes, readers go to school and the bakery, to the shoe store and the bay, to the newsstand and the grocery store. And how does she become famous? On a windy day her stories are blown about the streets, picked up by many people, and read in bed. Bright acrylic paintings depict an urban locale with faces of many colors. The text appears on the paintings and on lined notebook paper. Pair this inspiring book for aspiring writers with Dale Gottlieb's My Stories by Hildy Calpurnia Rose (Knopf, 1991).-Susan Pine, New York Public Library
Ilene Cooper
In the tradition of Harriet, Janie, the heroine of this picture book, is a spy, writing in her loose-leaf notebook (a part of the book's design) all that transpires in her Brooklyn neighborhood. Whether she's in Margie's Beauty Shop watching the women "Yak-yak" or buying notebooks and crullers at Mo's Candy or riding her hand-me-down bike through the neighborhood, Janie has a keen eye and a cocked ear. Sawaya's acrylic paintings use a primitive style to capture the energy of the city; they give the book momentum when the text occasionally drags. Kids will enjoy the dramatic ending in which a storm whips up and blows Janie's stories all over Brooklyn. The last page shows friends and neighbors reading her observations. "And that, for your information, is how you get famous in Brooklyn!"

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Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.33(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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