My New York – perfect Picture Book Friday

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My New York

By Kathy Jacobsen

Published by Little Brown in 1993, Anniversary edition printed in 2003.

Ages: 5-adult

Themes: Manhattan, visiting, New York City

Availability: Still in print. Yay!

Opening Lines/Synopsis:

My name is Becky and I live near the New York Public Library. Some buildings in New York make you feel small, but walking up the library steps makes me feel important

“Jakobsen’s combination of descriptive, conversational text and colorful folk-art paintings brings to life a young girl’s New York scenes. From the Statue of Liberty off the lower tip of Manhattan to the Museum of Natural History on West 81st Street, readers tour places and events such as the NYC Marathon, the Central Park Zoo and carousel, FAO Schwartz, Chinatown, the home of Baby Watson cheesecake, the circus at Madison Square Garden, the aircraft carrier Intrepid, South Street Seaport, and the Fourth of July fireworks over New York Harbor. Fold-out pages of the Empire State Building and a building under construction are an interesting design addition. A map appears inside both front and rear covers. Most illustrations are double paged, with a few exceptions that do not work as well because of the busy details on facing pages. Notes at the end give additional information about each site or event mentioned. Although Becky’s New York is in reality only a small area of Manhattan, the marvelously detailed illustrations and the excellent range of places paints an exciting and informative picture of the best of New York City life and activity. A visual treat for children from all around the country.”
Mary Rinato Berman, New York Public Library

Why I like this Book:

The narration from a child’s perspective feels authentic. It sounds like exactly how and what a child would share while managing to include some very detailed information about many of the main sites in New York. The illustrations are absolutely stunning in their scope and attention to detail, and kids and adults will appreciate the size and extravagance of the foldouts. One that stands out for for me os the dinosaur skeletons at the American Museum of Natural History.  The author/illustrator does a truly spectacular job of depicting the cityscapes as well as sharing the sights, sounds and facts of much of Manhattan. A la “looking for Waldo”, Becky and her parents can be spotted on every page, which young children will enjoy.


Use this book as a guidebook when preparing for and visiting New York City.

The book concludes with a bonus Fun Facts about New York and a Reader’s Challenge.

Look for Becky and her parents on every page.

This books takes you on a tour of: New York Public Library, Central Park Zoo, Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, Greenwich Village, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Chinatown, Apollo Theatre, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wall Street, South Street Seaport, Grand Central Station, Chrysler Building, American Museum of Natural History (the only place I have left to visit on this list).

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

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34 Responses to My New York – perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. I would love my kids to find out more about New York. What a great book and Happy Blogiversary!

  2. I love this type of art. I used to do elaborate maps in my social studies and geography classes. I’ve thought about trying to do this type of book – just need the right idea (I don’t think my little corner of the world would be it unless there’s buried treasure involved. 🙂 )

  3. Laura Renauld says:

    Intriguing! Perfect for getting to know New York and for exploring the city. I’m sure New Yorkers will find it fun to see their “backyard” in this book, too!

  4. Janet Smart says:

    Sounds like a great book for kids who want to find out more about New York. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Thanks for giving me a tour around Manhatten before my visit. Will have to check this book out. I would think it would remain in print and be a great sell to kids visiting NYC. Love that the story is told from a child’s perspective!

  6. I really like that opening!

  7. This looks like a great book. I can already see me and my son sitting down and enjoying this!

  8. Cathy Mealey says:

    My youngest wants to visit NYC – this would be a fun introduction for her!

  9. Mary says:

    We’re going to New York this fall – I’ll have to try to track this one down so we can read it before our trip!

  10. I love the cover illustration and the double spreads in the book must be stunning. A great choice, Joanna!

  11. I love the cover illustration and the double spreads in the book must be stunning. A great choice, Joanna!

  12. Rhythm says:

    I don’t know anything about NY and don’t know that I will ever go there. But this looks like an exceptional book. I love the cover and those first lines about the library.

  13. Oh, how lovely to have a picture book tour of all the delightful attractions New York City has to offer! I’m thrilled to be adding this to our list. What a great way for kids who don’t live in NYC to get a little taste of what it’s like! They should do this for other neat cities too! Thanks for sharing, Joanna!

  14. Joanna says:

    The illustrations are stunning, Susanna.

  15. Love this book, Joanna. Gosh it makes me wish I was travelling to New York now.. darn! Maybe next year.

  16. Joanna says:

    Hope I get to see you again this year, Diane! I am enjoying seeing New York through the different seasons.

  17. Great pick, Joanna! As someone who was born and raised in NYC, many of the sights in the book bring back so many memories…the NY Public Library was a favorite of mine…no surprise, right?
    I love that the mc and her family appear on every page…this is clever…something for us all to remember as we write our stories.:)

  18. What a wonderful sounding book! If/when I get to spend some time in NYC, I’ll have to read this as part of my preparation. (No idea when that might be, but a person can dream, right?)

  19. MotherReader says:

    When we were first taking the kids (now teens) to NYC, we always used picture books to get them excited about the trip – including this one! We also like “ABC-NYC.”

  20. Joanna says:

    Pam, thanks for the ABC-NYC recommendation. I am back next week and will check it out.

  21. The cover is very appealing. I love books with the folk-art style. You said young kids would enjoy the fact that Becky and her parents can be spotted on every page…I enjoy that too 🙂 Doesn’t take much to entertain me!

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