Manhattan: Mapping the Story of an Island

Jennifer Thermes. Abrams, $19.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-4197-3655-1
The latest cartographic picture book from Thermes (Charles Darwin’s Around-the-World Adventure) maps Manhattan Island’s evolution from a glacially carved, flora- and fauna-rich wilderness into a bustling New York City borough. Full-page pictorial maps—befitting the book’s large trim size—document Manhattan’s south-to-north transformation. Ink-and-watercolor illustrations in soft hues depict the progression from villages of the Native Lenape people (who called the island Mannahatta) to colonial Dutch and British settlements and, finally, to a dense, diverse, skyscraper-filled city. Stylized birds fly banners with straightforward spread titles while sidebars frankly delineate the detrimental practices and impacts that its growth wrought on Native, African-American, and immigrant populations: spreads about Central Park and its many amenities are preceded by one recounting how African-American Seneca Village was demolished to make way for it. Also covered are some of Manhattan’s other notable stories: how the city got its street grid and famous subway; memorable natural disasters that befell it; and vignettes of how prominent skyscrapers and bridges were built. Like Manhattan itself, much is packed into this handsomely illustrated history. Back matter includes an extensive timeline and selected source list, while endpapers show a complete map of the modern city. Ages 8–12. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/20/2019
Release date: 08/06/2019
Genre: Children's
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