cover image The Doorman

The Doorman

Edward Grimm. Orchard Books (NY), $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-531-30280-4

The highlight of this affectionate tribute to a New York City doorman is Lewin's (Peppe the Lamplighter) lifelike art. With nearly photographic clarity, his watercolors depict the comings and goings of an apartment house's residents and the daily routine of their beloved doorman, John. Setting the story in his own Upper West Side building, first-time children's author Grimm shapes a poignant portrait. Kind, conscientious John ""felt responsible for everyone who lived there--as if he were the captain of a ship."" The doorman is especially fond of the elderly and very young tenants, because ""they were the ones he could do the most for."" Residents are shocked and saddened when John suffers a fatal heart attack, but his legacy lives on. Young readers lucky enough to know a doorman like John will appreciate the homage; non-city-dwellers may find the setting appealingly exotic. And observant kids will enjoy spotting Lewin and Grimm in cameo appearances (depicted as a painter and a tenant, respectively). Ages 4-7. (Sept.)