cover image H Is for Harlem

H Is for Harlem

Dinah Johnson, illus. by April Harrison. Little, Brown/Ottaviano, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-316-32237-9

From “A is for Apollo Theater” to “Z is for Zora Neale Hurston,” this jam-packed abecedarian tribute to the famed New York neighborhood highlights significant persons and locations of its storied history and present day. “D is for Dance Theater of Harlem” recounts the creation of Arthur Mitchell’s studio in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination (“The dancers represent Harlem with grace and power and energy”). Other entries highlight the Harlem Globetrotters, Malcolm X Boulevard, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and—via “V is for Voices”—Harlem’s varied inhabitants, “from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Charleston, South Carolina; from Paris, France, and Accra, Ghana; from Brooklyn, New York, or around the corner.” Harrison’s arresting mixed-media illustrations render the abundant cast of important figures and myriad, unique surroundings in lifelike shades, lush textures, and generous dimensions, showing, as Johnson writes, that “Harlem is a place like no other in the world.” Includes an author’s note. Ages 5–9. (July)