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A Farm in a City

A story to teach children to welcome others, learn about urban agriculture, and create rhythm and rhyme.

Photo of Abby Berkelhammer
6 1

Written by

Ned left his farm

He jumped in a truck

Goodbye to the field, 

cow, horse, and duck


The truck made a stop

And Ned flew out fast

Instead of his farm

Cars honked and zoomed past


Now lost and alone

Just trash cans nearby

He hid behind them

And heard, “Cluck, cluck, hi!”


Two chickens were there

One short and one tall

They smiled and waved 

He answered their call.


“I’m new here!” he clucked.

“Don’t know where I am!”

“Come with us,” they offered.

Their journey began!


They traveled by train

Below the sidewalks 

Then by river boat

Past ferries and docks


They walked along streets

And checked out some parks

They ate Philly cheesesteaks

Before it got dark


‘The farm isn’t like this’

Ned quietly thought

‘This is loud and it’s busy

And a little bit hot.’


‘But I love this new place.

I’ve had a great day.’

His new friends then told him,

“You’re welcome to stay.”


So he followed them home

Hopped up on a stoop

Climbed a fire escape

And found his new coop


The view from the roof

Was exciting and pretty 

Lights flashed and stars twinkled 

He saw the whole city 


“You’re here!” his friends cheered

“At our rooftop farm

It’s cozy and fertile

And it’s full of charm.”


‘It’s just the right mix,’

Ned said with a smile

‘A farm in a city,

I’ll stay here awhile.’

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

We hope that caregivers will use this book to help their children develop a sense of rhythm and rhyme. We see this book as being enjoyed by children in the 0-3 age range with a specific focus on ages 2 to 3.

Share your suggested book title

A Farm in a City

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

Ned left his farm He jumped in a truck Goodbye to the field, cow, horse, and duck The truck made a stop And Ned flew out fast Instead of his farm Cars honked and zoomed past Now lost and alone Just trash cans nearby He hid behind them And heard, “Cluck, cluck, hi!” Two chickens were there One short and one tall They smiled and waved He answered their call. “I’m new here!” he clucked. “Don’t know where I am!” “Come with us,” they offered. Their journey began! They traveled by train Below the sidewalks Then by river boat Past ferries and docks They walked along streets And checked out some parks They ate Philly cheesesteaks Before it got dark ‘The farm isn’t like this’ Ned quietly thought ‘This is loud and it’s busy And a little bit hot.’ ‘But I love this new place. I’ve had a great day.’ His new friends then told him, “You’re welcome to stay.” So he followed them home Hopped up on a stoop Climbed a fire escape And found his new coop The view from the roof Was exciting and pretty Lights flashed and stars twinkled He saw the whole city “You’re here!” his friends cheered “At our rooftop farm It’s cozy and fertile And it’s full of charm.” ‘It’s just the right mix,’ Ned said with a smile ‘A farm in a city, I’ll stay here awhile.’

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

We see this book as being particular critical to developing an understanding of rhyme with children specifically in the 2-3 age range. As educators, we see children developing an understanding of rhyme at this age and they might even be able to guess what word might come at the end of the line. We followed an ABCB pattern to keep the book predictable, which is very important when reading aloud to children. Although our focus is on ages 2-3, younger children will love the rhythm of the book. The rhythm of the book will give a beat for even the youngest audience members to bounce their body. This book was also informed by recognizing the importance to expose children at a young age to different communities. We feel that the book will expose children to an urban context and farm community. We also used many Tier 1 words, while also including some more specific farm and city vocabulary to engage children in dialogue with their caregivers about what specific words mean.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

We both have lived in New York and have visited Philadelphia quite a few times.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

We are really excited about how cities like Philadelphia are embracing the urban agriculture movement. (Attached a few articles that helped inspire us!) We feel that exposure to urban farming is important so children can understand where our food comes from and how we can create a farm community in an urban context. We also included language that reflects the city experience as we referenced the lights and noise while also showing that amongst this noise, we can create a growing farm. https://www.helloinspire.com/blog/connected-movement/urban-farming-transforming-cities-like-philadelphia https://extension.psu.edu/on-the-road-urban-agriculture-in-philadelphia

Location: Country

We both live in the United States.

Location: State or Department

Andrea lives in California and Abby lives in Rhode Island.

Location: City

Andrea lives in San Francisco and Abby lives in Providence.

Tell us more about you / your team

Andrea Henkel and Abby Berkelhammer are both educators. Andrea currently works as the Senior Manager of Curriculum for a nonprofit organization, and Abby works as curriculum writer and teacher. We are passionate about books and reading, and love sharing a variety of genres and authors with students. We are dedicated to ensuring that all children have exposure to language and the joy of words! We met when we were 9 at summer camp!

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • We are educators

6 comments

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Comment
Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Hi Abby Berkelhammer  Welcome to the Challenge Community!
Very lovely fascinating read about the life in between city and farm life.
How might you evolve your manuscript to introduce new nudges of engagement and interaction for caregivers, to help them with their child’s learning development as they narrate the story? You can find some inspiration in the Final Toolkit and Challenge Resources listed on the challenge page

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