Wednesday, 5 October 2016

A Big Apple for the children

I fondly remember seeing Mr Sasek's book when it first came out in 1960 and now I've just bought this reprint for my grandchildren to enjoy, they've been there two or three times for short visits. Of course you could say that in the last fifty-six years the city has transformed itself but look through the pages and it's not just nostalgia because a lot of things are the same with Sasek's text and illustrations still making the city come alive.

A few examples of things still going strong is the Empire State, Times Square -- minus the

face smoking a Camel and blowing smoke rings -- newsstands, hot dog sellers, the subway (and some that hasn't changed in decades) Rockefeller Center, skating in Central Park, the Guggenheim, Staten Island ferry and good old Coney Island. Of course Sasek included something's that are no more like the El and those guys who pushed dresses through the streets in the garment district and oddly he didn't include a Yellow Cab (battered and dirty then but now always sparkling).

A slight disappointment is the book's printing. It looks like the original pages have been scanned, no doubt the original art vanished years ago, so that there are no real blacks in the illustrations making them lack any punch and crispness. The only black is the text.

Sasek did several city books in the same format but this classic 'This is New York' is my favorite and I hope it'll be my grandchildren's too.

No comments:

Post a Comment