I wrote some time ago about how living in the city means expecting things to get noisy now and then (okay, all the time), and like a good librarian I created a list of picture books to celebrate the sounds of city life. For my daughter, it’s less about noise and more about our living room window.
Specifically, the constant stream of pedestrian and bicycle traffic that passes by our window. She’s a regular neighborhood welcoming committee all by herself from her regular perch by the window.
When I came across Passing By by Yona Tepper, a picture book originally published in Israel, I had to share it with my girl. In the book, a little girl named Yael observes life from her balcony. She sees cars, trucks, bikes–even a tractor. In the end, she sees her daddy who comes to take her for a walk. It’s a cute story that I think city kids will get. The repetitiveness of the text makes it most appropriate for preschoolers.
To go along with the book, I created a scavenger hunt with vehicles, animals, and other objects that we often see out our window. Due to my lack of artistic talent, I improvised by cutting pictures out of magazines. No tractors. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a tractor driving around Uptown Minneapolis.
Uptown pedestrians, listen carefully as you walk down the street for a little voice saying “hi” to everyone who passes by. That’s when you’ve found where I live. :)
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