Flying Over Brooklyn

Myron Uhlberg, Author, Gerald Fitzgerald, Illustrator Peachtree Publishers $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-194-4
A fond tour of a deserted, snow-covered Brooklyn, this nostalgic book--Uhlberg's first--was inspired by the author's memory of a record snowfall there in 1947. The child narrator recalls a day when a gust of wind launches him from a snowbank, and his long-standing, ardent wish to fly suddenly comes true. (The adventure turns out to be a dream.) More lyrical than plot-driven, the text links a series of sense impressions: of the Brooklyn Bridge, ""its stone shoulders holding up a web of steel""; of Ebbets Field, where the boy ""could almost smell the roasted peanuts""; of the lights of loud, bright Coney Island, now quiet with ""each bulb topped with a tiny mitten of snow."" Fitzgerald's (Casey at the Bat) kinetic artwork exploits the aerial perspectives as the exhilarated boy soars through a series of otherworldly skyscapes. Short brushstrokes create a busy, impressionistic effect, especially in the scenes of Coney Island, where Ferris wheel and roller coaster seem to dissolve into patterns of frost and light. Within the narrative's modest scope, Fitzgerald and Uhlberg create an enchanted vision of Brooklyn transformed but ever itself. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1999
Release date: 09/01/1999
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