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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Americanine, written and illustrated by Yann Kebbi. Translated from the French by Sarah Klinger. Enchanted Lion Books, Publishers Group Canada. 2015. $24.95 ages 6 and up

"When the subway goes underground, you wind through tunnels that seem to go on forever.

On subway platforms, there are miniature houses that fit just one person. Apparently, only people in blue are allowed to live inside.

If you love trains, you've got to see Grand Central Station. It's swarming with people."

If you are in need of a guide for a trip to New York City, look no further. On his return to his Parisian pals, and sporting an American flag on his back, our canine friend expounds on his recent trip.

"For starters, there are some really hilarious things about New York. Would you believe I actually saw people through windows who were running hard but never left their spot, and no ball ever showed up? I even saw people painting other people's paws."

Much of the dog's perspective is tongue-in-cheek, and recounts what he finds interesting about the many cultural areas of the Big Apple. He talks about Manhattan and Ellis Island, the ferries, the bridges, the subway, the hustle and bustle and noise associated with the city streets. An elevator ride allows a look at the many skyscrapers, and some of the iconic buildings that are familiar to so many of us through various media sources.

Each new revelation is accompanied by a loose-lined pencil crayon image, and followed by a full double page spread that further details it. For instance, a pet store with puppies in the window to be adored and entertained by those outside is followed up with a spread of a dog walker tied to eleven dogs by leashes attached to his belt.

"New York is full of museums,
but they also like to put us on display and everyone adores us!
There are even people whose entire job is
to escort us around town."

A note tells us about Yann Kebbi's art:

"The illustrations for Americanine were made with colored pencils. Though influenced by the sketching Kebbi did in New York as a student, the images for Americanine were all created in Paris, sparked by emotion and memory."

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