Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Lonely Phonebooth

The Lonely Phonebooth

Peter Ackerman
Illustrator:  Max Dalton 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
David R Godine, 2010   ISBN: 978-1567924145

On the corner of West End Avenue and 100th Street in New York City, there is a phone booth. The phone both is happy because it is well used by people of all kinds. When the cellist leaves her cello in a taxicab, she uses the phone booth to find out where her instrument is. When the ballerina wants to find out if she got the part for Swan Lake, she uses the phone booth to make her important call. There is even a secret agent who goes into the phone booth to change his disguises. The phone booth is needed and he is cared for. What more could a phone booth want?

The something truly terrible happens. The cellist, the ballerina and all the other people who use the phone booth stop using it because…prepare yourself for this…they all get cell phones! The poor phone booth is neglected, and he starts to look shabby and dirty. As he watches other phone booths being carted away, he knows that he is running out of time.

This delightfully unique picture book will not only entertain readers of all ages, but it was also serve as a reminder that there are some things that should not be replaced by new technology. There are some things that belong in our communities and that deserve to be saved and used.

Peter Ackerman’s winning text is wonderfully complimented by Max Dalton’s retro style artwork. The art not only tells a splendid story in and of itself, but it also celebrates the colorful and diverse people who live in New York City.