From the Ontario Science Centre to a west-end wading pool, from baseball to outdoor skating, A Big City ABC
captures the diversity and fun of growing up in Canada's largest city. First published in 1984, Allan Moak's celebrated urban alphabet book has been attractively reissued with five new illustrations featuring SkyDome and other recent additions to Toronto's skyline. Bright, bold, and bustling with miniature people, Moak's cheerful folk-art-style paintings not only show off the city's tourist attractions, but feature private spaces best known to Toronto's children as well. In his picture "A is for art," for example, preschoolers clamber over the Henry Moore sculpture in front of the Art Gallery of Ontario, while in "N is for neighborhood" several kids play street hockey in the secluded laneway behind their downtown homes.
"My Toronto is for children," Moak remarks in a brief afterward. "I see it through children's eyes." To help identify the many scenes rendered in his alphabet of the city, the self-trained artist and long-time Toronto resident has included a set of informative background notes. He concludes by inviting children to go out and paint a big-city ABC of their own favourite places. Of special interest to beginning readers who live in or have visited Toronto, A Big City ABC is general enough in scope to appeal to young city dwellers everywhere. (Ages 4 to 8) --Lisa Alward
“A series of blazingly bright impressions of a big, modern city at work and play.”
–School Library Journal
“Moak’s cheerful, brightly coloured paintings have a naïve quality that is most appealing… non-Torontonians will find much to please them.”
–The Globe and Mail
“…Moak’s book has inspired many children…to look at the world around them and see magically hidden letters. Moak shows readers the alphabet magic he finds in his world…Updated with five new paintings, the 2002 edition of Big City promises to start a new generation of alphabet success stories!”
“…a letter-perfect book to help young children learn the alphabet.”
“Moak’s bright and cheery illustrations dominate the text and treat readers to tantalizing images…”
“…the book’s colourful illustrations feature things most young readers can relate to and identify with.”
“This book of beautiful paintings about children and for children is a pleasure and a great celebration of [Ontario’s] capital.”
–The Sunday RepublicanFrom the Trade Paperback edition.