Chicago has many treasures. The Magnificent Mile and Wrigley Field, wonderful public art and parks, beautiful bridges and skylines. But the true heart and the real treasure of the city are its children.
This book is devoted to Chicago’s children. Come along as they travel to worlds within worlds, becoming storybook characters who follow the Yellow Brick Road, sip tea in Wonderland, tame a tiger, live in a shoe, climb a magic beanstalk to bring home a golden-egg-laying hen, turn a frog into a prince, meet fairies and dragons.
Continue as they step into painted canvases to inhabit scenes from other times and places. After climbing down from those framed worlds, they explore the city, high-fiving the victorious Chicago Bears, joining penguins at the theater, and leaping across State Street Bridge aboard African impalas.
The kids are the story. The book is their adventure. Its door swings open. . .
For kids of all ages. 168 pages and 150 illustrations. Unlimited dreams.
Authors: Larry Broutman, Rich Green, John Rabias
Imprint: Lake Claremont Press: A Chicago Joint
Page Count: 168 pages
Pub Date: March 2019
Format: Hardcover with dust jacket, 9.25" x 10.25"
Features: Full color interior, 150 illustrations
Larry Broutman is the author of Chicago Unleashed, Chicago Monumental, Chicago Eternal, and the forthcoming Africa Treasure and Chicago Courageous. He photographed all of the children for this book. He and his wife, Susan, live in Chicago. Author proceeds from Larry's projects are donated to the Chicago Lighthouse (for those who are blind or visually impaired) and Access Living.
Illustrator Rich Green is a former Disney intern, a computer graphics professional, and the illustrator of several popular children's books. Although he works mostly digitally, he also enjoys putting pencil to paper and brush to paint. His artworks can be found in regional galleries. Rich lives in Joliet, Illinois, with his faithful dog, Annie.
John Rabias, teacher and magician, works in digital illustration and post-production imaging and has taught computer graphics at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for over twenty years. When not working on screen, John paints in oil. He lives in Chicago with his Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster.
Book Review: ChicagoTreasure, Hopeful Parents, November 20, 2019
True Inclusion the the Creation of Chicago Treasure, Raising the Extraordinary, November 20, 2019
The Top 16 Christmas Tween Girl Gifts, Vivid Gifts, November 19, 2019
Chicago Treaure, Poetry for Children, November 14, 2019
Children's Book Review: Chicago Treasure Is Pure Treasure, Teach Me T, November 7, 2019
What an Author and Illustrator Learned Firsthand about the True Meaning of Inclusion when Creating the Children’s Book Chicago Treasure, Life with a Side of the Unexpected, October 10, 2019
Chicago Treasure by Larry Broutman, Rich Green, and John Rabias, Linda's Book Bag, August 13, 2019
Larry Broutman Interview, Windy City Live, August 8, 2019
Chicago Treasure: Children's Book Review, Tumble into Love, August 7, 2019
Book Review: Chicago Treasure by Larry Broutman, Uniqueli MADE, July 30, 2019
Chicago Treasure storybook gives local children fairtyale experience, benefits Glenview nonprofit, The Glenview Lantern, July 26, 2019
Featured Author Rich Green, Book Reader Magazine, July 18, 2019
Author Interview: Rich Green, From the Book Reviewer's Desk, July 16, 2019
Interview with Rich Green, The Spine View, July 6, 2019
REVIEW: Chicago Treasure, KidsBookshelf, June 30, 2019
Author Interview: "Chicago Treasure" by Rich Green, Reading Nook, June 29, 2019
Chicago Treasure by Larry Broutman, Rich Green & John Rabias, The Spine View, June 10, 2019
- Fairy Tales Do Come True: Author Incorporates Chicago's Real Treasures into His New Book, Chicago Parent, June 2019
Interview with Illustrator Rich Green, Awesome Gang, May 12, 2019
Book Review: Chicago Treasure, Windy City Reviews, May 24, 2019
Inclusion Takes Center Stage in Local Author's New Fairy Tale, WGN-TV, May 15, 2019
Book Review: “The Beauty of Inclusion,” Chicago Treasure by Larry Broutman, Rich Green, and John Rabias, Third Coast Review, May 1, 2019
Recommendation, Grandparents Link, Facebook, April 30, 2019
Interview with Illustrator Rich Green, Pretty-Hot, April 27, 2019
Our Greatest Treasure, Comcast Newsmakers, Interview with illustrator Rich Green, April 25, 2019
Chicago Treasure is a children's book that celebrates inclusion through illustration, Steve Cochran Show, WGN Radio, April 23, 2019
Chicago Treasure, Pretty-Hot, April 15, 2019
Chicago Treasure, Awesome Gang, April 3, 2019
Rich Green Interview, After Hours with Rick Kogan, WGN Radio, March 31, 2019
Chicago Treasure Author Learns What Inclusion Really Means in Creating His Book, YouTube, HypeMedia Chicago, March 28, 2019
Book Review: Chicago Treasures, Me and My Shadow, March 27, 2019
Chicago Treasure Book Review, Grandma Ideas, March 25, 2019
Chicago Treasure, Anobii, March 15, 2019
Illustrator Rich Green addresses a crowd of 250 eager book buyers at the Chicago Treasure book lunch at the Chicago Lighthouse, Chicago Tribune, Community Pages, March 14, 2019
Chicago children find their photographs among the pages of newly released children's book, Chicago Treasure, Chicago Tribune, Vernon Hills Review, March 14, 2019
Chicago Treasure puts young people at the center of the adventure, WattsPad, March 12, 2019
Chicago Treasure, Authorsdb, March 12, 2019
Chicago Treasure by Larry Broutman, Rich Green, and John Rabias, The Write Path, March 4, 2019
Highlights of Chicago Treasure Book Release Party, ABC 7-TV, Chicago, March 3, 2019
A fabulously fun book for fans of Chicago and fans of kids, Grandma's Briefs, February 27, 2019
Book Review: Chicago Treasure, What Happens at Grandma's, February 26, 2019
- New Book Puts Disabled Children in Fantasy Land, Fox 32 Chicago, February 13, 2019
- Chicago Treasure, Kristi's Book Nook, February 6, 2019
- More, More, More: Chicago Treasure, Readertotz, February 5, 2019
- Book Review: Chicago Treasure, Bridget and the Books, February 4, 2019
- Chicago Treasure, Downers Grove Patch, February 2, 2019
- Chicago Treasure, Lifetime Chicago, Karla Sullivan, January 31, 2019
- Broutman, Green, and Rabias' Chicago Treasure, Raise Them Righteous, January 27, 2019
Remarkable. I have never encountered a book quite like Chicago Treasure.
“An uplifting book. It’s vibrant, colourful, and the perfect mix of fantasy and reality so that children of all ages and abilities find themselves in exciting new and familiar narratives. I thoroughly appreciated the mix of gender and ethnicity…There is no contrived focus on disability, but rather on having fun and participating fully in life…What appeals to me most is the way in which the superimposing of real children into the images affords them not only the excitement of seeing themselves in a book, but allows other children to use their imaginations and think ‘What if…?’ so that it encourages the development of creativity as well as being entertaining.”
Embraces Differences in Way I Had Never Seen Before
“This wonderful book embraces differences in a way that I had never seen before…It’s the perfect mix of state of the art technology, wonderful photography, inclusion, diversity, and childhood wonder!..You might want to purchase a copy for your home library AND for your classroom library!”
—Tania N. Davis, Teach Me T
A Whimsical World Indeed
- “Chicago Treasure showcases children from the city and suburbs, many with special needs, featured with their favorite nursery rhyme or fairytale character…Through the blended magic of photography, illustration and computer graphics, the children are allowed to immerse themselves into creative canvases while inhabiting legendary scenes from other times and places… Broutman’s challenge was to feature these children without distinguishing them by their special needs. It’s about inclusion, not special needs or special anything.”—Jerry Davich, Chicago Parent
- “People tend to forget that children with special needs are first and foremost kids…This book has a sense of selflessness for spreading awareness about children like my daughter while teaching qualities such as patience and compassion.” —Don Hubert, father of Chicago Treasure’s “Little Miss Muffet,” in an interview with Chicago Parent
- “That perfect world of inclusion and acceptance… Every Chicago parent needs to relay Larry’s vision to their child.”—Janet Szlyk, The Chicago Lighthouse President and CEO, in an interview with Chicago Parent
Would I recommend this book? Yes, a thousand times yes I would.
“In Chicago Treasure, there is no way to differentiate who is disabled and who is not. This fact was essential for the authors because the central theme of the book is inclusion…The pictures captured the most precious moments and looks of happiness at every place…I absolutely love it…It is a great book for all ages. Especially, young children who need to be introduced to disability and that there are children who are differently able.”
— Tiffany Johnson, Uniqueli MADE
A Doorway to Another World
“Richly colored cover art, generous heft, and glossy pages make the book feel special…There are things to explore, savor, and learn here, and nothing seems forced or rushed. The book’s secrets are ready to be discovered by children and adults alike. There is an irresistible surge of energy that envelopes you from the moment you open the cover. An air of unpredictability and pure playfulness permeates these pages.…Chicago Treasure is a terrific book to read in short stints to a child at bedtime, but it is also the perfect book to sit and read all at once, absorbing the classic stories that tell a modern-day tale of access, fun, and love. A treasure indeed.”
—Susan Gaspar, Windy City Reviews
The Beauty of Inclusion...Adorableness Ensues
“A collection of light verse and retold fairy tales set alongside Broutman’s photos, the stories are shared through whimsical newspaper articles and familiar fantasy scenes employing digital sorcery to put real-live kids in the middle of the action…Following an overarching principle of 'the beauty of inclusion,' kids of all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities interact with various enchanted aristocrats, mythical beasties, and big-eyed anthropomorphic animals. Adorableness ensues.”
—Dan Kelly, Third Coast Review
Diversity Takes Center Stage
“Familiar with a twist of silly, my kids and I laughed as we read through the pages…Although Chicago Treasure features kids with special needs, it does so without focusing on their needs. For this reason, that’s what makes Chicago Treasure such a delight; It doesn’t explain, belabor, or sensationalize disability. It simply highlights children doing what they do best – imagine and dream…It portrays kids with disabilities just like everyone else.”
— Jeannine Monteleone, Tumble into Love
Each page is like stumbling on a new treasure.
“Chicago Treasure creates a whimsical world where any kid can dive into a storybook and become the main character, step into a painting at a museum to take a closer look, or ride a bear to the Bears stadium....In this inclusive and empowering book, every child, regardless of disability, ethnicity, gender, or age is free to see themselves take on great roles in literature and art....A tribute to Chicago and especially its children, this book flies on imaginations wings while dabbing into the touching richness a city has to offer.”
—Tonja Drecker, Bookworm for Kids
Truly a book to return to over and over again, uncovering new dimensions every time
“What warms the heart beyond the technical skill exhibited between covers of Chicago Treasure is the commitment to inclusion. You see, many of the featured children are visually impaired. They attend the Judy and Ray McCaskey Preschool Program at The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Disabled, learning alongside classmates without visual disabilities…I look forward to sharing this 168-page treasury with each of my grandchildren. It's truly one to return to over and over again, uncovering new dimensions every time. Together we'll recall fairy tales and recite nursery rhymes. We'll talk about visual impairment and other disabilities and how they are overcome with wheelchairs and guide dogs and competency in Braille… I will describe the hustling bustle of Chicago, promising that, one day, each of my grandchildren will experience the allure of this remarkable city the way I have—in person, and again and again through the pages of this delightful volume!”
—Joyce Gillis, What Happens at Grandma's
Delightful...A lovely coffee table book likely to encourage thoughtful conversations
“I recommend Chicago Treasure for personal collections. It makes a lovely coffee table book likely to encourage thoughtful conversations. It will also be a great addition to classroom libraries. Many lessons can be planned around the book in areas like art appreciation, disability awareness, and cultural diversity. It’s a delightful book that does a lot of work, literally disrupting dominant narratives by replacing images of able-bodied white people with a far more diverse cast of characters.”
—Jennifer Miller, PhD, RaiseThemRighteous
Like a cabinet of curiosities, its pages delight the reader with their many wonders
“An imaginative, innovative picture book that will awaken a love of Chicago in kids of all ages, Chicago Treasure....Like a cabinet of curiosities, its pages delight the reader with their many wonders. At a hefty 168 pages long, this lovely book will enchant young and old alike for years to come.”
—Frances Archer, Me and My Shadow
Truly inclusive and incredibly breathtaking
“There are many children’s books about disability that teach the value of inclusion. Oftentimes the purpose of these books is to promote awareness. While Chicago Treasure includes children with disabilities in its gorgeous photographs and storylines, it does not distinguish or call for any special awareness. It includes children with disabilities without making them separate or different. That is what makes this book a true treasure. There are many lessons to learn from this beautifully illustrated storybook. But the most important one is that, in the end, there are more similarities within us all than differences.”
—Laurie Mclean, Life with a Side of the Unexpected
“This beautifully illustrated book is perfect for kids to dive into joyful Chicagoland and become the main character.”
—Vivid Lee, Vivid Gift Ideas
The kids are the stars in this book
“Follow the children of Chicago through the pages of this book as they travel to storybook lands and become the characters. Go with them down the yellow brick road, watch as they huff and puff and blow a house down, cheer them on as they climb a beanstalk, rejoice as they use magic to save the day, and enjoy their travels through Mother Goose rhymes. Then follow the children as they journey through the amazing paintings in Chicago’s museums and the attractions around town.”
— Christina Lewis, KIDSbookshelf
Fun and lovely
“The classic stories and poems are rewritten in contemporary language to match the contemporary art. And did you see how diverse the children are? Such a fun and lovely aspect of the book. What a fun idea to invite children to celebrate their town or city, to put children themselves in the photographs, and to cosplay nursery rhymes and fairy tales in this contemporary context.”
—Sylvia Vardell, Poetry for Children
Children living out their wildest fantasies. A beautiful book for bedtime.
“What brought a tear to my eye were the photos of the children, who otherwise struggle throughout daily life, living actively and flying freely in ways they could never and may never be able to do. The photos changed my perspectives of them and children with different abilities in general: if we don't see limits, maybe they stretch further, and maybe even there are no limits…While the book touched my heartstrings as a mother, it's designed with a child audience in mind…What a way to develop a child's love of story and seeding their young minds with the idea that their limits are only as far as they choose.”
— Christina Shaver, Hopeful Parents
“This is a fascinating book that took extraordinary children’s desires, and made them a reality in this beautiful hardback book. It’s a well-crafted book that enables these children to star in famous nursery rhymes, pop culture, Disney movies, Chicago landmarks, famous paintings, and more. This book is a treasure simply in its creation, to give each of these wonderful children their chance for fame.”
— Daniel Bennion, Raising the Extraordinary
Chicago’s children are its true treasure. This book started with the idea of celebrating them by placing their photographs in unexpected urban scenes, as Photoshop guru John Rabias had done by merging animal images from my African photography with urbanscapes photographed in Chicago (first for wall murals at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and then in the book Chicago Unleashed). In a variant of this idea, we placed children in works of art.
But then, almost as in a dream, I saw the children instead become the lovable storybook characters you see illustrated in the first section of Chicago Treasure. A new talent was needed, and to all our good fortunes John introduced me to the amazing children’s book illustrator Rich Green. In a process that Rich and I invented as we went along, we would choose a storybook tale or rhyme, and I would pose and photograph a Chicago child to star in Rich’s artful illustration of that tale or verse.
During the summer of 2018, The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and the City of Chicago celebrated the themes of access and inclusion by presenting fifty-one specially decorated model lighthouses along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, many painted by artists with visual and/or physical disabilities. Susan, my wife, and I sponsored a lighthouse, and Rich embellished it with illustrations created for this book. How joyful it was to celebrate Chicago’s true treasure with families who came to see their children’s images on that lighthouse—and now with all who see them in this book.