Reviews for My New York

“If you happen to like New York, you just may love Kathy Jakobsen’s vision of Manhattan.”
New York Times Book Review
”A splendid tribute to the city that never sleeps.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
”An exciting and informative picture of the best of New York City life and activity. A visual treat for children from all around the country.”
School Library Journal

In another big-city adventure, My New York by Kathy Jakobsen, Becky tours the Big Apple, with elaborate paintings of popular destinations such as the Central Park Zoo, FAO Schwarz and Chinatown. Fold-out pages depict a sweeping view from the top of the Empire State Building, and a towering Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. First published in 1993, and praised in a PW starred review as “a splendid tribute to the city that never sleeps,” this updated edition includes additional scenes such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New Year’s Eve in Times Square and a 4th of July celebration with a view of the twin beams of light in homage to the World Trade Center. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. – Publishers Weekly

A gifted folk artist, Jakobsen (illustrator of Reeve Lindbergh’s Johnny Apple seed ) here conducts a thoroughly enjoyable and informative excursion through Manhattan. Her fastidiously detailed oil paintings illustrate a chatty letter written by a girl named Becky to a friend who will soon be moving from the Midwest to New York. Becky’s tour of the Big Apple includes visits to the Central Park Zoo, the F.A.O. Schwarz toy store, Chinatown and the South Street Seaport; like any good guide, she throws in suggestive statistics (the Baby Watson cheesecake operation uses more than 38,000 eggs a day). Several foldout pages present larger-scale visual extravaganzas, among them a panorama of the skyline as seen from the top of the Empire State Building, a high-rise under construction and dinosaur skeletons at the American Museum of Natural History. As an added treat, youngsters can search out Becky and her parents, who appear in each picture. This stunning book’s piece de resistance is a spectacular double-page spread of New York Harbor on the Fourth of July, with fireworks exploding over the Statue of Liberty and an impressive assemblage of tall ships. A splendid tribute to the city that never sleeps. All ages. (Sept.)  – School Library Journal

K-Gr 3-Jakobsen’s combination of descriptive, conversational text and colorful folk-art paintings brings to life a young girl’s New York scenes. From the Statue of Liberty off the lower tip of Manhattan to the Museum of Natural History on West 81st Street, readers tour places and events such as the NYC Marathon, the Central Park Zoo and carousel, FAO Schwartz, Chinatown, the home of Baby Watson cheesecake, the circus at Madison Square Garden, the aircraft carrier Intrepid, South Street Seaport, and the Fourth of July fireworks over New York Harbor. Fold-out pages of the Empire State Building and a building under construction are an interesting design addition. A map appears inside both front and rear covers. Most illustrations are double paged, with a few exceptions that do not work as well because of the busy details on facing pages. Notes at the end give additional information about each site or event mentioned. Although Becky’s New York is in reality only a small area of Manhattan, the marvelously detailed illustrations and the excellent range of places paints an exciting and informative picture of the best of New York City life and activity. A visual treat for children from all around the country.  – Mary Rinato Berman, New York Public Library

Reviews for This Land is Your Land

“This beautiful homage to America and to a favorite folk singer is sure to be a family treasure.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The complete lyrics are brought to life by stunning, vibrant folk-art illustrations of the people and places of America.”
Booklist, starred review
“… An ambitious tribute to a popular song that will live as long as the American spirit.”
New York Times Book Review
“All and all, this beautifully designed book belongs in every school as a part of our musical history, as a tribute to the Dust Bowl era and the political activism that music can reinforce and encourage, and as an elegant example of picture book art.”
Children’s Literature
“This effort is what great picture books are all about.”
School Library Journal

Reviews for Johnny Appleseed

There is no lack of books about Jon Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, but this is an outstanding addition to the collection. Lindbergh’s ( The Midnight Farm ; Benjamin’s Barn ) poem tells the story of one man’s crusade to spread apple seeds from Massachusetts to the Midwest. Jakobsen’s captivating illustrations, rendered in deep tones of rustic blues, browns and golds, are reminiscent of detailed folk art paintings as they depict Johnny on the road, planting and harvesting, talking with settlers. On facing pages borders fashioned like patchwork quilt squares enrich the tale with their minute details. Too many versions of the Johnny Appleseed legend make him into a superhero; this work shows him as a gentle, religious man on a mission, a lover of the land with a consuming interest in the environment. Ages 4-9. (Sept.)   – Publisher’s Weekly

Reeve Lindbergh’s poetic story pleases the senses and satisfies our desire to know more about this selfless, gentle man whose gift of apple seeds enriched large areas of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and northern Indiana. Apples could be harvested early and eaten in one form of another all year – an important crop for the settlers. Jakobsen’s paintings are jewel-like depictions of this fertile landscape. Each scene glows with those incandescent colors that only an artist’s eye can see. Celebrate Johnny’s birthday September 26. 1993 – Children’s Literature – Jan Lieberman

This homespun book provides the perfect vehicle for the story of the legendary Johnny Appleseed. Lindbergh’s poetic narrative, related by an elderly woman to her grandchildren, tells the story of John Chapman’s life and travels, including tidbits referring to his kindness and piety, his nonviolence and bravery, and his respect for all living things. Grandmother Hannah’s tale, simply told, holds the power to mist readers’ eyes. Finely crafted folk art illustrations, painted on canvas and overflowing with tiny details, complement quilt pattern borders on the facing pages of text. Small panels within these borders show vignettes of Chapman’s life and legacy. The full-page illustrations embellish Hannah’s story and provide a clear glimpse of life on the frontier during the early 1800s. The book includes a short introduction and a page of factual information at the end. A map on the endpapers shows the states through which Chapman travelled. Steven Kellogg’s Johnny Appleseed (Morrow, 1988) is more of a compilation of lore about Chapman’s bravery and great feats of strength, while Lindbergh’s quiet tale emphasizes the man’s true religious nature. It’s a treasure. –Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH  – School Library Journal