cover image City of Angels

City of Angels

Julie Jaskol, Brian Lewis. Dutton Books, $16.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-525-46214-9

This nifty picture book/guidebook, the debut work of Angelenos Jaskol and Lewis, shouts ""I love L.A.!"" and may well elicit the same affection from readers. As reporters for independent newspapers in Los Angeles, the authors know well how to combine the histories of individual communities and human interest stories to create a pulsing biography of the nation's second-largest city. Readers who have never visited Southern California (and even those who live there) will take away a portrait of an urban center teeming with cultural and geographical diversity, as seen in the glitz of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, the springtime Blessing of the Animals ceremony on Olvera Street, the ringing of the Korean Bell of Friendship and the newly built Getty Center, dedicated to preserving and exhibiting fine art. Historically significant dates, anecdotes and fascinating fun facts abound, including those found in a brimming time line at the end of the book. Kleven (Abuela), also an L.A. resident, shares her favorite, often aerial perspectives of familiar places in joyfully bustling compositions of watercolor and cut paper. Her scenes, full-to-bursting with people, color and detail, suggest sunny bursts of confetti or the view through a kaleidoscope. And kids will love searching for the angels hidden in each painting. All ages. (Oct.)