At our house, it’s pretty common to trip over traffic jams or cities. Calvin is constantly lining up vehicles in his room, the bathroom, on the treadmill, in the kitchen, on window sills, you get the picture. Accompanying the traffic jams are signs and buildings.
I found B is for Brooklyn written and illustrated by Selina Alko at the library and thought it had all the ingredients that make him happy – buses, bridges, traffic, signs.
B is for Brooklyn has all this and more. It takes you through the alphabet with beautiful illustrations of all that Brooklyn has to offer.
While reading it, Calvin and I talked about using a newspaper like Alko did to create buildings. My boys love building cities: Lego cities, box cities, paper cities.
Inspired by B is for Brooklyn, we go to work. The brotherly fighting ceased the day we built our latest city. They spoke to each other the way I imagine they do at school saying, “Please pass the glue.”
“Who are these kids?” I thought to myself, as I listened to their polite tones.
They were still bossy. If I stopped to survey my work or take a sip of coffee they would both direct, “Mama, get back to work.”
Using the Sunday New York Times, we cut up the travel section. Calvin was thrilled to see the Paris Metro. We also found a map of Arizona and New Mexico. I pointed out where their cousin Rahsaan was born and where he lives now. That was a big hit.
The final product – an unusually peaceful morning and a cool piece of art.
Where to find the book and other info
You can find the book and more on Alko’s website.
Alko’s created many beautiful books. This includes The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage. She illustrated this with her husband Sean Qualls. According to her website, “It is the true story of the interracial couple Mildred and Richard Loving, and the courage they needed to have to fight to get their
marriage legally recognized in the 1960’s in the state of Virginia. Alko felt a personal connection to the Lovings’ story, being half of an interracial couple herself.”