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Around the Neighborhood, Around the World

A caregiver and child go to festivals, parades, and events in their urban neighborhood and meet people and traditions from around the world.

Photo of Cynthia Chin-Lee
2 3

Written by

Around the corner, down the street.

So many people we will meet!

Big and little, happy faces.

From near and far, so many places.

Time to go. Look at the clock.

Let’s meet our neighbors down the block.


Cymbals crashing, crackers flashing.

Lions dance and dragons prance.


Bunnies hop, long ears flop.

Get in front, eggs to hunt!


Tacos frying, salsa trying.

Cinco de Mayo, oh-my-my-oh!


Food is gone at the break of dawn.

Dumplings shared show we care.


Pride parade in the shade.

Trumpets play, dancers sway.


Drummers drum, flags fly high.

See the fireworks in the sky!


Girls and boys kick and click.

Tasty gyros, eat them quick.


Fragrant flowers! Pour the sand.

Hold tight to sparklers in our hands.


Family, friends gather to eat.

Share their thanks with yummy treats.


Fry the latkes, light the flame.

Spin the dreidel. Win the game!


Black, red, green, count the candles.

How much stew can you handle?


Back at home, up the street.

How many people did we meet?

Big and little, happy faces

From near and far, so many places.

Time for bed. Stars take flight.

All tucked in. Kiss good night.

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

This book shows a caregiver and child going outside to various neighborhoods to see the events, parades, and festivals of the larger community. Even though they are just going around the neighborhood, they are going "around the world" as they can participate in Chinese, Greek, Indian, Muslim, African, Christian, Jewish, and Gay Pride traditions from the many communities in the U.S.

Share your suggested book title

Around the Neighborhood, Around the World

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).

The door to far-off lands may just be around the corner as this manuscript shows. A caregiver and child experience all sorts of parades and holidays celebrated around the world in their own city without ever getting onto an airplane or train.

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

This manuscripts uses many tier 1 and tier 2 words. It uses many visual images to help caregivers label concepts like colors, dances, fireworks, foods, and so on.

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

I grew up in Washington, D.C. and my mother grew up near Philadelphia so visits to Pennsylvania were annual. I have relatives and friends in Philadelphia so have been there many times and my brother attended Drexel University.

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

You don't need a plane ticket to travel around the world. Those of us lucky enough to live in urban areas can go to festivals and parades and restaurants with ties to other places. This manuscript shares holidays familiar to most Americans like Easter, Thanksgiving, and Fourth of July along with holidays from minority communities like Lunar New Year, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Ramadan. The attached PDF gives notes on all of these festivals and events.

Location: Country

Half Moon Bay, CA, U.S. I live in the San Francisco Bay area.

Location: State or Department


Location: City

Half Moon Bay

Website URL (optional question)

Tell us more about you / your team

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

I've worked with several illustrators and especially enjoyed working with Enrique Sanchez on the book "A Is for the Americas," co-authored with Terri de la Pena. The book is out of print but you can see beautiful illustrations of Day of the Dead.

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

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

It's Who You Know, non-fiction, adult, career, out of print. Almond Cookies and Dragon Well Tea, fiction, children's. A Is for Asia, non-fiction, children's, out of print. A Is for the Americas, non-fiction. children's, out of print. Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World, non-fiction, children's. Akira to Zoltan: Twenty-Six Men Who Changed the World, non-fiction, children's. Operation Marriage, fiction, children's

Do you have an agent?

  • Previously yes, currently no

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

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

Attachments (1)


Full manuscript, including author notes on each festival, holiday, or parade.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kelly Andrews

Cynthia, I love this! I love the way you make the diverse energy of cities lively but totally natural. Nice rhyme too.

Photo of Dawnnbooks .

Lots of action for toddlers.
Good luck to us all.