Foreword Reviews

Coney

A Trip to Luna Park

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

The artistic historical picture book Coney tells the story of a beloved theme park.

In Jeffrey Lindberg’s picture book Coney, a girl and a rabbit have a hair-raising theme park adventure.

In 1904, Selena is a rabbit who lives on the shore of Coney Island. She befriends Millie, a human girl. Together, they witness as men with huge, noisy machines rip the dunes apart, though with assurances that they are doing so to build a special place. The beautiful dunes are left in tatters, and the friends are frightened away. Millie takes Selena home with her. They decide to teach one of the workers a lesson about kindness. But they also play pranks on him, making him angry.

When Luna Park, a theme park built on the remnants of Selena’s dunes, finally opens, everyone is in awe of its wonders. But Millie and Selena are terrified after the worker whom they antagonized spots them in the crowd. A mad chase through the park’s attractions ensues, ending in a surprising manner.

Drawing on the true story of the construction of Luna Park, the book’s exuberant illustrations take inspiration from black-and-white photographs shot in the early 1900s. Created with ink, acrylic, and oil paints and with digital finishes, they include depictions of historical figures dressed in the fashions of the day, and they are attentive to the cast’s facial expressions and body language. Such details enhance the book’s vintage appeal, as do the story’s details about the park’s architect and its construction. And the book includes facts that further contextualize the tale, including that the name “Coney Island” came from the Dutch word for “rabbit.”

Exciting and artistic, the picture book Coney follows as a child and a bunny form a joyful friendship against the construction of a beloved theme park.

Reviewed by Kristine Morris

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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