A is for Audra: Broadway’s Leading Ladies from A to Z – John Robert Allman, illustrated by Peter Emmeric

 A is for Audra: Broadway’s Leading Ladies from A to Z – John Robert Allman, illustrated by Peter Emmerich, Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 9780525645405, 2019

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

 What did you like about the book? If you are a fan of talented Broadway actresses, then this book is for you. This is an A-Z book featuring over 70 amazing Broadway stars. This list spans decades from Barbara Cook as Marian Paroo in the Music Man in 1957, to Phillipa So of the more recent Hamilton fame. Each letter of the alphabet features one or even several actresses along with a little poem about their talent and then the shows and dates where they appeared on Broadway. Sometimes the stars are grouped by a common role such as Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Tyne Dale, Bernadette Peters, and Patti LuPone all in the role of Rose in Gypsy or even the various stars who appeared in Sondheim musicals. The back of the book features even more information about these women including roles they originated and awards won.

The illustrations provided by Peter Emmerich capture the unique features of each actress including the passionate expressions of Audra McDonald, the wide-eyed look of Carol Channing, the flaming red hair of Gwen Verdon, and the crazed look of Angela Landsbury in Sweeney Todd.

 Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children between the ages of five through 10, especially if they enjoy Broadway musicals. This book is also about strong and talented females so if children have enjoyed She Persisted, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, or any other books with strong female characters, they will probably enjoy this as well.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries.

Where would you shelve it? Nonfiction

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: January 6, 2020


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