Reviews for Elevator Man

Booklist Reviews 2009 October #2
The nearly extinct job of elevator operator is seen through the eyes of young, blond Nathan, who idolizes his building's operator, where he rides up and down to the fifth floor every day and sometimes gets to work the controls. When it comes time to replace the manual lift with an automatic model, Nathan is confused and disappointed, and he misses his friend. Soon, though, after the arrival of the shiny new elevator, the former operator finds a new job in the building: doorman. The exact era is left somewhat vague, but this is really a timeless story of change. The large, eye-catching illustrations, reminiscent of Ross MacDonald's work, have a bright and colorful appeal that the text doesn't always match. The story is a welcome one, though, that moves beyond firefighters and mail carriers to present two different community workers that city kids may recognize and others will enjoy meeting for the first time. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring
Nathan admires the man who operates the elevator in his apartment building. He's taken aback when the old elevator is replaced with a new automatic one. However, change has its advantages--now Nathan can run the elevator himself, and the elevator man gets a promotion. Dynamic color illustrations full of loose-handed energetic black lines accompany the accessible nostalgic tale. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 August #2
Nathan loves riding in his apartment building's old elevator with the kind Elevator Man, who lets him turn a handle to move the car up and down. When a renovation replaces the antiquated elevator with a modern one, Nathan frowns at the new shiny buttons and worries about the fate of his friend. Swirling watercolor illustrations capture fast-paced urban activity, while yellows, oranges and light blues bring warmth to Nathan's city life. Cox's illustrations float on white space, appearing as colorful cloud formations without panels or borders. Readers' eyes move easily from image to image, using the artwork as stepping stones to cross rather significant streams of text. Trachtenberg's clear, straightforward language remains reassuring, however, giving beginning readers simple sentence structures they can handle. While Nathan's apartment life and evident affluence might distance him from some suburban or less moneyed children, this sweet picture book's ornate illustrations and sentimental tone (much like earlier, unabashed urban stories like Eloise or Make Way For Ducklings) makes for universal, lasting enjoyment. (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2009 September #3

Cox's (The Train to Glasgow) radiant palette, balletic ink line and cosmopolitan aesthetic bring a buoyant spirit to this metropolitan fable. To young Nathan, there is nothing more marvelous than his apartment building's elevator and the man who runs it. It's not just that the elevator man has a dashing uniform (maroon with brass buttons); he is also gracious (he holds the elevator for Nathan's Type A dad) and cool under pressure (when other residents "lean on the buzzer," he doesn't flinch). Best of all, he lets Nathan run the elevator when no one else is around. But when the building modernizes with a self-service elevator, Nathan's exuberance plummets ("Nathan reaches up to touch one of the buttons, the one that has an 'L' on it. He hopes it means 'Let Me Off' "). At times the narrative is weighed down in extraneous detail when it should be buoyed by the emotional truths that Trachtenberg, a former book editor making his children's book debut, offers about facing change. But he does a wonderful job of setting up his story--even suburban readers will identify with Nathan's elevator fixation. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2009 October

PreS-Gr 2--Nathan's apartment building has an old-fashioned elevator, complete with an elevator man in a handsome maroon uniform who opens the gates and turns a handle to make it go up or down. The boy's greatest wish is to be an elevator man when he grows up, so when traffic is slow, his friend lets him help. Much to Nathan's dismay, a new elevator is installed, with buttons to push, an automatic door, and no need of an elevator man. However, all ends well: Nathan's friend becomes the building's doorman, and the child "heads toward the elevator to begin his new job." Rich, appealing illustrations sketch the characters in broad, quick strokes of black filled in with warm golds, blues, greens, and maroons, against the backdrop of the building's ongoing activities. The endpapers sum up the story marvelously--at the beginning, an oversize man is opening the gate of the old elevator for Nathan, and at the end, the boy is inside the new conveyance, wearing his friend's maroon hat and pushing the buttons. This story will appeal especially to big-city apartment dwellers.--Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA

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