________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 27. . . .March 18, 2011

cover

City Numbers.

Joanne Schwartz. Photos by Matt Beam.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2011.
60 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-55498-081-9.

Subject Headings:
Toronto (ON)-Pictorial works-Juvenile literature.
Numerals-Juvenile literature.

Grades 1-5 / Ages 6-10.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**** /4

   

excerpt:

5 Five

Painted on asphalt.
Playground.


7.99
Seven ninety-nine

Printed on paper, taped to glass.
Flyer in store window.

 

Author and children's librarian Joanne Schwartz and photographer and author Matt Beam, both Torontonians, first collaborated on City Alphabet, and now the pair return with "urban" numbers that begin with zero and ascend, concluding with 20. Along the way, Schwartz/Beam insert some "in-between" number stops, and, post 20, they offer an addendum consisting of a photo of a multidigit barcode.

internal art     As can be seen from the above excepts, Schwartz's text is quite brief and consists of the number as a number and as a word, with the number appearing to have been cut out, collage-like, from a portion of the accompanying photograph. The rest of the text describes the number's original medium (spray painted on cement, torched into metal, neon tubing hung behind glass) and where, in general terms, the number was found, places such as an apartment door, an electrical box and a sidewalk.

      The numbers the pair have chosen are not limited to just whole numbers, but they have also included fractions (½ One-half), ordinals (2nd Second), percentages (2.5% Two point five percent), and numbers as expression of monetary value (7.99 Seven ninety-nine) [the price per lb. of boneless strip loin steak].

      Obviously, City Numbers is not a "first" counting book, but, like City Alphabet, Beam's photographs will cause the book's readers to be much more aware of aspects of their everyday environments, with numbers now becoming their focus. Armed with digital cameras or cell phones, children may be inspired to produce their own themed number books.

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, lives at number 167 in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

NEXT REVIEW | TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - March 18, 2011.

AUTHORS | TITLES | MEDIA REVIEWS | PROFILES | BACK ISSUES | SEARCH | CMARCHIVE | HOME