cover image My New York

My New York

Kathy Jakobsen. Megan Tingley Books, $17.45 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-45653-1

A gifted folk artist, Jakobsen (illustrator of Reeve Lindbergh's Johnny Apple seed ) here conducts a thoroughly enjoyable and informative excursion through Manhattan. Her fastidiously detailed oil paintings illustrate a chatty letter written by a girl named Becky to a friend who will soon be moving from the Midwest to New York. Becky's tour of the Big Apple includes visits to the Central Park Zoo, the F.A.O. Schwarz toy store, Chinatown and the South Street Seaport; like any good guide, she throws in suggestive statistics (the Baby Watson cheesecake operation uses more than 38,000 eggs a day). Several foldout pages present larger-scale visual extravaganzas, among them a panorama of the skyline as seen from the top of the Empire State Building, a high-rise under construction and dinosaur skeletons at the American Museum of Natural History. As an added treat, youngsters can search out Becky and her parents, who appear in each picture. This stunning book's piece de resistance is a spectacular double-page spread of New York Harbor on the Fourth of July, with fireworks exploding over the Statue of Liberty and an impressive assemblage of tall ships. A splendid tribute to the city that never sleeps. All ages. (Sept.)