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Well I’m back, from a very unexpected hiatus of sorts. My sincerest apologies to those who read and missed this space as I disappeared for over two months with no explanation. I’m here now to start it up again and to offer my excuses. I cannot wait to share a marvelous new book from March of this year that perfectly fits my current situation and title for this post. I am in New York friends! Long story short, after over a year of waiting for the right job, we have relocated our little family to the amazing borough of Manhattan. We have longed for this change and are taking the city by storm. Can I just tell you how many incredible children’s book events, venues, and even just picture books revolve around NYC! The process however of getting us moved in a short amount of time took up all spare moments and this blog suffered the most I’m afraid. Family came first.

And speaking of our little family, that’s the second part of my big excuses for a prolonged absence. As of Palm Sunday, we are now a family of four! I had been planning on making an announcement of sorts throughout my pregnancy and the timing just never worked out. But, I do have a pile of new baby books, especially geared towards preparing the older sibling, and I plan on sharing those very soon too. But enough personal business, let’s talk books again!

I excitedly present a new Marc Brown creation full of history, facts, trivia of all kind and a lovely introduction to a fascinating city. This is In New York by Marc Brown, March 2014.

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Let’s start off by admiring and being overwhelmed by these special end papers. Brown has used every inch of this book to fill you in on big and little details that make NYC so special. Did you know New York City has over 1,000 playgrounds? This fact alone has made us parents of the year to our two year old, despite the insanity of the recent move and arrival of new baby.

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Moving into the story, Marc Brown has taken a very personal approach and opens it with first-person narrative about his first visit to the city as a little boy. He covers information like what NYC was like when it was first settled with sounds from all the farm animals that has now turned into the cacophony of noise from the city packed with people, vehicles, and businesses. There are fun facts about the Empire State building, the subway system, the plethora of pizzerias, and even the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the huge Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.

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This book is such a treat and a surprising wealth of information about a very famous city. I had actually discovered this book was coming before we knew we were for sure moving to NYC and I couldn’t wait to see it in person. Marc Brown is a fun illustrator that I’m always willing to give a glance and he did not disappoint with this newest ode to the Big Apple.

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I’ve been wondering how enjoyable and interesting this book might be to those who are not in or visiting the city, and I sincerely hope that it would be a fun and educational read either way. The information is fascinating with lots of things I did not even know. Despite a lack of story or distinct plot, our two-year-old requests this book often and loves to read it. I’ve even found myself quoting its facts in regular conversation (which really isn’t a shock given how many picture books I quote in daily life, but that is besides the point). I would say this book compares to M. Sasek’s This is series in a modern and unique way.

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How cool is that illustration of Central Park?! I would love to have a giant print of it for our wall… but for now I just turn to it again and again. There’s definitely something about this book, most notably the way Marc Brown inserted himself into the facts and descriptions of the city which gives it a more intimate feel. I hope you’ll check it and the city out.

And whenever you find yourself in New York, give this new New Yorker a call! I’m currently making my own map of every gluten free bakery we can find and will gladly share the research process with visitors.