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City by Numbers [Paperback]

Stephen T. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 7.99
Price: CDN$ 7.59 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

July 29 2003

In the ideal follow-up to his stunning Caldecott Honor book Alphabet City, Stephen T. Johnson turns his talents towards numbers. Wordless spreads featuring impressively photo-realistic paintings of New York City invite readers both young and old to search for the numbers zero through twenty-one hidden in the images. From a sweeping 4 found in the span of an urban bridge to the 13 of a faded crosswalk, this is an intriguing new way to think about numbers and the world around you.


Frequently Bought Together

City by Numbers + Alphabet City + A Is for Art
Price For All Three: CDN$ 31.29

  • Alphabet City CDN$ 8.54
  • A Is for Art CDN$ 15.16

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 5?In this companion volume to Alphabet City (Viking, 1995), Johnson's photo-realistic paintings show the numbers from 1 to 21 in city details. Since these are paintings, the artist is able to tweak the scenes a bit; the number two is made by flakes of peeling paint, for example. Sometimes the numerals are hard to discern, as in the case of the 10, made of wavery reflections in a glass building, or the 21, created from lighted windows in a skyscraper. Tana Hoban's Count and See (Macmillan, 1972) has black-and-white photos of city scenes, but shows numbers of objects rather than numerals, as here. Bruce McMillan's Fire Engine Shapes (Lothrop, 1988; o.p.) provides shapes rather than numerals to discover, but uses color photographs of a subject with proven child appeal, as well as including children in his illustrations. Johnson's images are fascinating and make this book interesting to older children.?Pam Gosner, formerly at Maplewood Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

In this wordless companion to Alphabet City (1995), Johnson joins the likes of Tana Hoban, Arlene Alda, and Donald Crews in his attraction to the numbers, letters, shapes, and compositions found in the architecture and infrastructures of outdoor places and public spaces. Paintings show numerals 121 that are camouflaged by the urban cityscapes in which they exist. Discovering each number is an exercise in visual literacy: 4 is found in the lines of the Manhattan Bridge at sunset, 8 is formed by the round rims of adjoining trash bins, a 15 hides in the cracked mortar between bricks. Some numbers occur in the lines, curves, and curlicues of existing architecture, such as an iron gate, a fire escape, a cornice; others are created by negative space, for example, between stones on a snowy walkway or in the scraped surface and papery patches of a building's peeling paint. The subjects are similar to those found in the first book, although the colors, this time, are wintry and more somber. Children will relish the game of locating numbers, while adults will pause over Johnson's deliberate use of shape and color to influence mood. (Picture book. 4-10) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Stephen Johnson is by far the most creative artist/illustrator of educational children's books alive. He not only makes learning fun in Alphabet City and City by Numbers, but shows his remarkable talent as an artist. His illustrations, for lack of a better word, are flawless as can be seen clearly in the originals. He does not bring the book down to a child's level, but teaches them to appreciate art and learning at his level. He is completely remarkable and shows that it is rewarding to major in fine arts in college even if you wish to be an illustrator. No illustrator could produce the quality work that he has produced. Definitely buy this book. You will not be disappointed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the most creatively educational children's book on the marke Dec 24 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Stephen Johnson is by far the most creative artist/illustrator of educational children's books alive. He not only makes learning fun in Alphabet City and City by Numbers, but shows his remarkable talent as an artist. His illustrations, for lack of a better word, are flawless as can be seen clearly in the originals. He does not bring the book down to a child's level, but teaches them to appreciate art and learning at his level. He is completely remarkable and shows that it is rewarding to major in fine arts in college even if you wish to be an illustrator. No illustrator could produce the quality work that he has produced. Definitely buy this book. You will not be disappointed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold"; (Demuth; oil/graphite; 1928) May 21 2014
By Pop Bop - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a companion to Johnson's Caldecott Honor book, "Alphabet City", although it is a bit darker and more somber. Johnson has created photo-realistic paintings of New York City scenes that feature the numerals one through twenty-one, with some, (like the Figure 8 on the cover), being obvious and some, (like a number 6 created from cogs, gears and shadows), resembling those figures used in eye/brain recognition tests.

My first encounter with this book was when my five year old grandson pulled it from its shelf at the Children's Library. He plopped down on the floor and I plopped down right next to him and we poured over the paintings. Once we figured out the pictures were in order from one to twenty-one, and that there weren't going to be any words, we went to town playing number search. He got a lot of them on his own, and enjoyed getting the rest with some hints and suggestions. We both had a good time, and it was very rewarding to watch the little kid gears turning in his head as he searched the paintings.

Of course, this is all about shapes and numbers, but as Kirkus noted, it is also about visual literacy. We talked about photo-realist painting and about composition. And we had fun.

So, this is a game, a sophisticated introduction to composition, a bit of art instruction, and an all around happy book experience.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steven Johnson Takes Children's Books to a Whole New Level Aug. 3 2005
By Jon Weiman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book should be a delight to both children and adults. The artwork is sohpisticated, beautifully rendered and subtle. The numbers are hidden in the reality of each scene. He could have manipulated these images so that the numbers would be more obvious but he lets the viewer see them in their own time. Excellent book for teaching children about numbers, art and the poetry of combining the two.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Companion to Alphabet City July 29 2010
By Shanna A. Gonzalez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
City by Numbers is another volume in the spirit of Alphabet City. Conceived at the same time as a natural outgrowth of the alphabet book (which won a Caldecott Honor in 1996), this is an excellent companion to it. It's also an excellent choice both for prereaders, aspiring artists, or just those who enjoy a chance to see the world from a new perspective.
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome educational book with serious artistic quality Jan. 25 2009
By Nathan Beauchamp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
CITY BY NUMBERS is one of those rare educational childrens books that is as enjoyable for the adult as the child. This is because Stephen T. Johnson's illustrations are so very well done. The book teaches one to count to twenty by hiding each number in a well thought out illustration, simultaneously helping the child develop critical thinking skills. What makes CITY BY NUMBERS stand out is the exceptional quality of the illustrations, each of which is detailed, interesting, and fits easily into the city motif.
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