Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: An Armadillo in New York

Publish May 31, 2016

Arlo the armadillo loves to explore. His grandfather left him journals detailing his favourite destinations in hopes that Arlo would use them to guide his own travels. Having previously explored Paris in search of the Iron Lady (An Armadillo in Paris, 2014), Arlo now sets his sights on meeting Lady Liberty in An Armadillo in New York. Just as in her first Armadillo book, author and illustrator Julie Kraulis positions a section of Arlo’s grandfather’s more factual travel journal alongside his present-day experience of the city he explores. Each double-page spread, rendered in oil and graphite, showcases unique perspectives or emphasizes the vastness of New York City. For example, Kraulis depicts the view from the Rockefeller Center, the bustling theatre district, and the spiraling ramp at the Guggenheim Museum. As Arlo explores neighbourhoods and samples tasty treats like soft pretzels, tacos, knishes, and churros from street vendors, he learns a little more about Lady Liberty. And when he comes upon the statue itself, Kraulis positions it so that kids will need to rotate the rectangular book to get a good view. Kraulis includes an “All About Lady Liberty” page at the end, connecting story tidbits with historical facts and figures. In addition to celebrating exploration and discovery, An Armadillo in New York highlights the cultural diversity of New York City, and the Statue of Liberty’s significance for immigrants. After sightseeing with Arlo, kids might just start their own ancestral investigations, and ask whether any of their relatives were guided ashore by Lady Liberty’s torch.

An Armadillo in New York

Julie Kraulis
Tundra Books, Penguin Random House of Canada
ISBN 13: 978-1-77049-891-4

Jen Bailey
Jen Bailey Jen Bailey is an Ontario-certified teacher who holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She works for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Jen’s other book reviews have appeared in Quill & Quire and Canadian Children’s Book News.

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