Tania McCartney (text), Tina Snerling (illus.), A New York Year, EK Books/Exisle Publishing, 1 August 2016, 32pp., $19.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781925335071
McCartney and Snerling are taking kids on a trip around the world in their expanding collection of Twelve Months In The Life Of books, allowing kids to compare and contrast the lives of children in other countries or states (A Texas Year is simultaneously released) with each other and their own.
A New York Year takes us on a journey through the year in festivals, traditions, events and a little bit of the every-day with five diverse kids from New York State as guides. The book is bursting with vitality and colour and the facts are easily digestible within meandering text. Snerling’s stylised sketches pop from the white pages and creative use of visual text draw reader’s eyes around each month’s double paged spread.
The magic in these information books is the way McCartney and Snerling have made the facts active and personal. Readers are introduced to five children at the beginning of the book, and they pop up on each page, engaging in the activities. At the end of the book is a map of NY State with various facts – who knew the capital of New York State was Albany? New Yorkers, I’m sure!
For an information book there is nothing dense. The text is light – pared back and relies on the illustrations to add meaning. Even the way it sits on the page is light and lively with selected words embellished to become part of the illustration. The end pages boast a colourful checkerboard pattern of illustrations from the book – great for a game of spotto.
The acknowledgements at the end give an indication of the thought and research that went into writing this addition to the bestselling and award winning series. A must for schools and libraries, and for children curious about the world.
Reviewed by Debra Tidball