In this companion volume to Alphabet City (Viking, 1995), Johnson's photo-realistic paintings show the numbers from 1 to 21 in city details. Since these are paintings, the artist is able to tweak the scenes a bit; the number two is made by flakes of peeling paint, for example. Sometimes the numerals are hard to discern, as in the case of the 10, made of wavery reflections in a glass building, or the 21, created from lighted windows in a skyscraper. Tana Hoban's Count and See (Macmillan, 1972) has black-and-white photos of city scenes, but shows numbers of objects rather than numerals, as here. Bruce McMillan's Fire Engine Shapes (Lothrop, 1988; o.p.) provides shapes rather than numerals to discover, but uses color photographs of a subject with proven child appeal, as well as including children in his illustrations. Johnson's images are fascinating and make this book interesting to older children.?Pam Gosner, formerly at Maplewood Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.