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See the City: The Journey of Manhattan Unfurled

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Matteo Pericoli began his spectacular drawing of Manhattan in 1998. Manhattan Unfurled was published in October 2001 and was quickly embraced by New York City and the entire country. In this new version for young people, the drawing is bound into two sections (East Side and West Side) in an unusual and eye-catching new format. Pericoli adds simple text, and hand-drawn labels, telling young readers how he came to create his drawing (the journey includes boat rides, a motorcycle, and hundreds of photographs). He ...
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Overview

Matteo Pericoli began his spectacular drawing of Manhattan in 1998. Manhattan Unfurled was published in October 2001 and was quickly embraced by New York City and the entire country. In this new version for young people, the drawing is bound into two sections (East Side and West Side) in an unusual and eye-catching new format. Pericoli adds simple text, and hand-drawn labels, telling young readers how he came to create his drawing (the journey includes boat rides, a motorcycle, and hundreds of photographs). He also enourages kids to see—and draw—a place in a whole new way. “Draw everything,” he tells them, “and you’ll know a place as you never did before.” A wonderful tribute to Manhattan, to cities, and to thinking like an artist.

Praise for Matteo Pericoli’s Manhattan Unfurled (Random House adult trade):

“Pericoli has fixed a moment of the ever-shifting skyline, and done so with delicacy and authority.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Pericoli’s drawing is at once monumental and gentle . . . together the buildings seem almost to be swaying softly in a chorus line along the Hudson.”—The New Yorker

“Seen through [Pericoli’s] eyes, Manhattan takes on the quality of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.”—Vogue

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This switchback book, bound in a unique Z format that opens in two directions, pictures the Manhattan skyline from the Hudson and East Rivers. Pericoli initially created two 37-foot scrolls, reproduced in the accordion-folded Manhattan unfurled; in this meticulous, affectionate version (his first book for young people), manageable double-page spreads preserve his detailed pen-and-ink renderings of architecture, trees and choppy water. Part one, "The West Side," navigates from the northernmost point "where the Bronx ends" to Manhattan's southern tip circa 2000; the Twin Towers' still presence haunts the pages and suggests mutability ("One day, new buildings will be built and the skyline will, once again, be different"). Readers flip the book for part two, "The East Side," depicting the Brooklyn Bridge, U.N. and other landmarks. Pericoli began his work by taking "hundreds of photographs" on a boat tour, and he sets his horizon line low on the page. White negative space above the tall buildings serves as the open sky and as a canvas for offhand remarks. Penciled-in arrows point to neighborhoods and sites such as "The Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum (on a ship!)." Pericoli marvels at what he once took for granted ("Another water tower!") and at the project's rigors ("From here to here, I drew 2,215 windows"). In an unobtrusive narrative along the bottom margin, he reflects that "drawing is learning" and invites readers along, "Try and you'll find out.... You may think, `I already know this view very well,' since you see it every day. But you'll be surprised to find out just how many things you... never noticed before." Like David Macaulay, Pericoli dazzles with his style and conveys warm appreciation of that which seems ordinary. Ages 6-10. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In 1998 the author and illustrator of this book began drawing New York City's famous Manhattan skyline. "More than two years, fifteen hundred buildings, and nineteen bridges later, he finished two continuous scrolls, one of the West Side and one of the East Side, each thirty-seven feet long." Now he tells young readers the story of those drawings and takes them on a fascinating tour around the island of Manhattan. Simple but striking illustrations of New York's skyline are drawn with extraordinary attention to detail: the cables that pull up the drawbridge, the United Nations building created with more than 3,000 little lines, the tall and beautiful building that looks so tiny because it is so far away. A single line of text at the bottom of each page tells about the skyline above and a bit about the thoughts of the author/illustrator as he drew the buildings and towers and bridges. Above the illustrations are hand-drawn labels which point out interesting facts and landmarks: the names of famous buildings and not-so-famous ones, specific addresses, Grant's tomb, the aircraft carrier, Intrepid, and many, many more. The book is bound in two sections (East Side and West Side). Not for kids only; this book has great universal appeal. 2004, Borzoi Book/Alfred A. Knopf, Ages 7 up.
—Anita Barnes Lowen
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375824692
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/10/2004
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.44 (w) x 7.38 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Matteo Pericoli is an Italian-born architect and illustrator whose work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Harper’s. His most recent book is Manhattan Within (Random House adult trade). He lives with his wife in New York City, not far from the Hudson River.
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