In Francine Prose’s Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife (2009), readers view the Jewish Lyceum, the Gestapo headquarters, Huis van Vewaring prison, Amstelveenseweg Prison, the River Quarter, the Jewish Hospital, and the Montessori school. In her first 60 pages, Prose situates readers historically, explains how the residents of Amsterdam responded to growing crisis (there was a general strike, which lasted three days, for instance) and how events escalated.
In Anne Frank and the Remembering Tree by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso (2015, illustrated by Erika Steiskal), the story begins with “I was planted in the heart of Amsterdam, a city of skinny streets, of canals and bridges.” Anne Frank sits on a wooden crate in the attic of the third floor and writes in her diary about this tree. The tree voices all sorts of thoughts and feelings as the witness of events below. There are some interior spreads, but mostly there is room for the tree in these illustrations, so there is a broader sense of the city (and history).
Mouschi, Peter’s cat, narrates The Cat Who Lived with Anne Frank by David Lee Miller and Steven Jay Rubin (2019, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley). “Church bells chime over crying gulls and the water putt-putt of canal barges.” The illustrations are recognizable from the 360-degree-tour of the annex, but with a black cat on the staircase in Peter’s room prancing across the upper shelf in the room which doubled as kitchen and a bedroom for Margot and Otto and Edith. There are direct quotes from Anne’s diary, including their classic salutation: “Dear Kitty” (not for Mouschi). And there’s a peek into Amsterdam through Mouschi’s travels out a window, even after the annex dwellers’ view is limited to those crowded rooms and closets.