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Chioma goes to Work

Chioma imagines herself going to work at City Center like Mummy and Daddy.

Photo of Abi Adegboye
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Chioma goes to Work depicts a toddler's imagination of work outside the home. It explores the ideas of leaving home, working, and still staying connected to loved ones.

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

The intended vision is to explore life outside the home and the connection between home and that life.

Share your suggested book title

Chioma goes to Work

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).

“Going somewhere, Chioma?” “Yes Grandma. I’m going to work.” “Really? What do you have in your purse? It looks awfully heavy.” “I have my TrailPass to take the train all the way to Center City.” “You’re going to work downtown?” “Yes, I’m going to work at City Hall. I’ll take the elevator all the way to the top like Mummy.” “Your office is at the top of City Hall?” “Yes. I’m going to sit at my desk and draw a picture for you, Grandma. After work, I’ll walk to National Park to eat Jollof rice and spinach.” “You’ll eat Jollof rice in the park?” asks Grandma. “Yes, Grandma. Jollof rice is my favorite food in the whole wide world. I especially like making our secret sauce together.” “Shh… don’t give away the secret,” Grandma looks around. “No, I won’t Grandma!” Chioma giggles. “After lunch, I’ll call daddy on my cell phone. ‘Hello Daddy, how’s your day going?’” “On my way home, I’ll pass the Liberty Bell and the zoo. And I’ll take a nap on the train.” “You’ll take a nap on the train? How will you know when it gets to your stop?” Grandma asks. “Only a teeny-tiny nap, Grandma,” Chioma laughs. “When I feel the train stop. I’ll hop off and walk home.” “And I’ll be right here to welcome you home,” Grandma says. “That’s the best part of all, Grandma!”

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

This book encourages caregivers to allow children to explore the world of work outside the home. The back and forth dialogue between Chioma and Grandma stimulates questions which could lead the readers down different paths. For example, the reader might ask if the listener remembers their visit to City Center or the zoo. He may also ask about trains and parks. My initial drafts of Chioma goes to Work were written in simpler language. When I reviewed the words in Tiers 1 and 2, I thought they were complex for the 0-3 age group but tried to incorporate some of them into the piece. I look forward to learning more from this challenge.

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

I visited friends and tourist attractions in Philadelphia several times both during my college days at the University of Pittsburgh and afterwards.

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

I hope readers would see the world of work through the eyes of a toddler. The child notices certain events like dressing up for work, taking the train, tall buildings, doing work, and napping on trains. She doesn't yet understand different types of work that is done in the tall buildings or how long she'd have to work. I also hope readers will glean the idea of keeping in touch with family even while at work.

Location: Country


Location: State or Department


Location: City


Website URL (optional question)

Tell us more about you / your team

Abi Adegboye’s slogan is “Write Africa, Right Africa.” She believes that if we write the right things about Africa, we make things right with Africa. She is the author of two picture books – Butterfly and My Big Sister. She’s also written Young Adult (YA) fiction, cultural, and motivational books including the Ibadan Girls trilogy (Renike comes to America, Shally Baby, and Fine Sisi), Wanna B Prez? 10 Life Strategies from President Barack Obama’s Journey to the White House, Reflections on Nigerian Christianity, and co-authored Owanbe! Yoruba Celebrations of Life. Her books are inspired by formative years in Nigeria and raising children in the United States. She is a speaker and a writing coach passionate about helping people finish their manuscripts. You can find her at

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

Note to illustrator: In the first line, Chioma is dressed in her mother’s blouse, pearl necklace, and pumps. She has applied makeup on her face. She’s carrying a bulging purse. For a visual identity, I would like Chioma to be African-American and her grandma to be African.

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

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Butterfly (2007) - Self published. Owanbe! Yoruba Celebrations of Life (2010) - Self published.

Do you have an agent?

  • 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

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Photo of Robyn Campbell

Great job, best of luck!

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