Selina Alko: B is for Brooklyn
From the New York Times:
Book-oriented Brooklynites generally need little convincing about the merits of local literary endeavors. After all, many of today's celebrated Brooklyn authors now have children, and even those who do not often write children’s books. Some, of course, are having babies and writing books for them. All this gives “B Is for Brooklyn,” a charming alphabet book extolling the neighborhood’s virtues, a built-in audience.
Selina Alko, who identifies herself as “part of a history of artists and writers living in Brooklyn” (Park Slope, naturally), has impeccable NYC cred, even if she is a native of Vancouver. She illustrated both “My Subway Ride” and “My Taxi Ride.” She’s married to another Brooklyn-based children’s book illustrator, Sean Qualls. And, as demonstrated by a lovely, child-friendly map of the borough’s neighborhoods and an accompanying author’s note describing the area’s history and appeal, she adores her adopted home.
Each insiderish but inclusive spread is dedicated to a letter and its corresponding Brooklyn attractions. C, for example, stands for Court Street (complete with BookCourt), Carroll Gardens, the Cyclone, the cherry esplanade in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the clock tower and Coney Island.
Alko’s cheery mixed-media collages feature everything from ticket stubs to subway tiles to tearings from the New York Times best-seller list, accompanied by broad-brush paintings of the city’s multicultural inhabitants. In this spirited rendition of Brooklyn, a baby-toting mother celebrates the local outdoor pleasures alongside an interracial couple, a mustachioed gentleman in his 50s and a blond girl in a wheelchair. A particularly gorgeous Mermaid Parade struts by for the letter M. With hoopla like this, wavering Manhattanites may wind up in Fort Greene rather than Larchmont.