Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Book Review: "Chicago Unleashed"

This is a sponsored post for which I have been compensated with a free product sample 
              in exchange for my honest review. Opinions and photographs are my own.

Ah, Chicago! A magical place indeed - one I've visited many times for purposes ranging from educational enrichment to pure retail indulgence. Chicago is a magnet. Close your eyes. Hear the hustling bustle of hundreds, breathe the vibrancy of food and festivity....then reopen yourself to the splendor before you. Anything can happen on the streets of Chicago, and in this delightful coffee table book, it does! 

Larry Broutman, author of Chicago Unleashed, guides us through downtown streets and surrounds of that beloved city, combining striking urbanscapes with digitally imposed free roaming wildlife to create a whimsical visual adventure you'll marvel at from first page to twilight skyline last. 

Let's take a look!

The regal lion rests (cover photo, above) with stately nonchalance at the entrance of the Art Institute on Michigan Avenue. How I love that place! I wasn't aware that his kingship's bronze guardian twins were sculpted in 1894, serving faithfully for one and a quarter centuries. Broutman is generous with historical anecdotes throughout the book. That majestic city's an old one!

Soldier Field's been around for awhile, too. Dedicated in 1924 to Americans who gave their lives in service to our country, it's currently called home by the Chicago Bears football team. Strategically placed mom and cub stare you down, daring you to fumble that fact!

So very, very, very much more to see in Chicago Unleashed, offering 144 polished pages of proud promenading! Hippos frolic in Buckingham Fountain, whales dive among sightseers in the Harbor, turtles toddle alongside marathon runners, and more of the big guys: elephants, a rhino or two, and a couple of giraffes stroll McCormick Place with nary a glance at your curious face. There's deer, too, right on the State Street Bridge, and they're not waiting for any traffic signal to beckon graceful passage!

Chicago's a business hub, primarily. Cavernous streets shelter robust fueling of city, state, and national economic interest. Here's the Board of Trade, serious and stodgy, juxtaposed with the swooping majesty of carefree feathered flight!

I wonder if they're thinking, "Glad we're not stuck inside one of those tiny square boxes!"

I've been to Chicago as a student, a mom, and a grandma. That generous city forgets no one. If you've been here, you've found it. If you dream to come here, it's waiting for you. "We've got something for everybody!" the streets shout, including a sight my young grandsons would gleefully embrace.

Fire station pups are a departure from the safari species most frequently pictured on the pages of this volume, but really, how else to adequately showcase this vital city service? I think these spotted public servants are reflecting upon how "wild about Chicago" they are!

Interested? Well, here comes the best part! Every dollar spent on the purchase of Chicago Unleashed will be donated by the author to two Chicago based not-for-profit service agencies: Chicago Lighthouse, providing services to blind or visually impaired children and adults, and Access Living, a disability advocacy community.

The 144 page, 8.9" x 10" hard cover volume published 2014 by Claremont Press: A Chicago Joint, is available for $29.50 at Chicago book stores and gift shops. Purchase it online at Everything Goes Media or Amazon. Both sources detail the impressive author biography of Larry Broutman - a true Renaissance Man. The breadth and scope of his knowledge, experience, artistic talent, and accomplishments are amazing!

I love this book! You will, too.

P.S. What's black and white and read all over?
Chicago Unleashed!