Kid Lit City
by Andrew Rosenberg, 07/08/2014
"Stuart Little" (1945), by E.B. White, courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers • Conservatory Water photo by Will Steacy
For kids—and writers of kids' books—New York City is magic. The sights and streets of NYC have been inspiring literary folk from the time of Herman Melville, but as much as short stories and novels make the City come to life, there's something about children's literature that brings out the special spell of the five boroughs' attractions. Maybe it's the attempt to look at things through a young person's eyes: to capture the wonder of the lions at the Public Library, the dizzying heights of the Empire State Building, the artifacts of The Metropolitan Museum of Art; or to imagine the stories behind a fearsome statue here, a forgotten bar there, even a lonely phone booth. There's way too many books to fit in this article, so feel free to look beyond to follow All-of-a-Kind Family around the Lower East Side, or the characters in Nikki Grimes' Harlem-based stories. Pick up Stuart Little to remind yourself of the model boat races (which still take place Saturdays at 10am) in Central Park's Conservatory Water. Read Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me, a surreal time warp that conjures the City through the eyes of a latchkey kid. For our own series of book-related itineraries, read on.
Note: Curious George, Margret and H. A. Rey's great creation and a longtime favorite children's book character, is the official family ambassador for New York City. A modern-day story featuring the lovable monkey, Curious George in the Big City, is included in this slideshow. For more on all there is to see and do with kids in NYC, visit nycgo.com/family.