Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge is a classic New York City experience. A truly iconic structure, it is first suspension bridge built in the United States. It's hard to imagine a time when the only way to get from Brooklyn to Manhattan was by boat!
April Jones Prince's Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing takes us back in time to when the Brooklyn Bridge was built and people worried about its safety. Prince bases her story on an actual event: in 1884 P. T. Barnum decided to demonstrate his confidence in the bridge by marching his precious circus elephants across it. Prince's story is more informative than creative, but the light-handed text written in a free-style poetic form is still likely to hold children's attention during read-alouds.
Francois Roca's illustrations felt grand, but I was left wanting more from them. However, there are some interesting views of the bridge. I like the spread of the to-be-completed bridge spanning across the river above steamboats and sailboats. An author's note gives a bit of information about the real story.
If you like bridges and circuses this book is worth a look, but get it from the library.
Read another picture book on the same subject: Twenty-One Elephants (my review coming soon!)
Visit the author's website.
Big Kid says: Do the elephants ever go across the bridge now? [Nope, now they go through the Midtown Tunnel!]