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A Walking Song

This is intended to capture a stroll down a city block and the fun you can have with neighbors.

Photo of Anne Taylor

Written by

Red means stop

And green means go

These are things, child,

That you should know

(Now for our walk

To be quite grand,

To cross the street

Please hold my hand)

Bundled up

If it should freeze

Shorts and skirts

For the summer breeze


Waaaaaalkin’, walkin’ down the street

So much to see that’s really neat!

One neighbor’s got

A painted stoop

And another has

A chicken coop

And Miss Miranda

Likes to talk

While she shares

Her sidewalk chalk

Mister John is

Super nice

And just might share

His water ice


Waaaaaalkin’, walkin’ down the street

So much to see that’s really neat!

So you see

Even when we’re tired

Our neighbors help us

Feel inspired

To pause a minute

While we go

And take the time

To say hello!


Waaaaaalkin’, walkin’ down the street

So much to see that’s really neat!

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

I envision this as a fun song about walking down the block and visiting with neighbors, with some added safety tips through in.

Share your suggested book title

A Walking Song

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

I reviewed the materials that were provided as background for the challenge, and tried to draft a song with simple rhymes to describe some of the things that one can see when walking around Philadelphia to invite children and caregivers to engage with the song. The simple rhymes and narrative, as well as the repetition of the chorus, are particularly drawn from the language-development literature.

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

I live in Philadelphia, and the activities observed are all things I have seen here.

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

Walking at least a couple of blocks is a daily experience for most City residents, so the experience of going down the street with an adult is broadly shared. I tried to instill some fun into that routine experience with this song.

Location: Country

United States

Location: State or Department


Location: City


Tell us more about you / your team

I live in Philadelphia and came across this Challenge by accident. I think Reach Out and Read is a tremendous organization, and it has been fun to stretch creatively to write for the Challenge.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

I don't have a particular style that I'd associate with this, and would be excited to see how an illustrator could run with it.

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)

  • Learned about it after reading an article about Reach Out & Read on Philly dot com.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Melissa Dodd

Hi Anne, Lovely! There's one line that I thought might work better rhythm wise:
"While she shares" Reading it out loud, it could use more of a "While she gets out" or some other four syllable incantation (in my opinion)!

Photo of Anne Taylor

Thanks so much. I wonder if the stanza could shift to something like "Then Miss Miranda, who likes to talk, while she shares, her sidewalk chalk"? Hmmm....

Photo of Melissa Dodd

Hi think it's strongest when you hit the 3, 4, 4, 4 or 4, 4, 4, 4, rhythm. The first couple stanzas hit it perfectly. I might change where you break up the lines on the Bundled Up" stanza so it says
Shorts and skirts for
The summer breeze

The Miranda stanza is tough.... I like your first wording better than "Then Miss Miranda, who likes to talk, while she shares, her sidewalk chalk" I think....

A couple more possibilities:
Miss Miranda
She likes to talk
And always shares
Her sidewalk chalk
And Miss Miranda
Who likes to talk
She always shares
Her sidewalk chalk

Photo of Anne Taylor

Thanks so much, Melissa! I loved your observations and unfortunately got swamped at work so cannot execute them. But please know that I definitely walked around counting syllables on my fingers after you pointed out the rhythm! Best of luck in this process, and thanks for reading my little song.

Photo of Melissa Dodd

I know that feeling! The week really sailed by. Good luck to you!!!

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