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City Block Rock

City Block Rock is a rhyming picture book that captures the joy and simplicity of taking a walk through the neighborhood.

Photo of Mary Kate Bolinder
9 4

Written by

Out the door and on our way

Time to start a brand new day.

Hello neighbors! Hello street!

Hello to the friends we meet.

Rock, rock, city block rock.

There goes trolley on the track

Hear its wheels go clickety-clack.

Red light blinks, green light glows

One means stop and one means go.

Rock, rock, city block rock.

Cross the big street with great care

Hold my hand, we’re almost there.

Around the corner to the park

Hello puppies! Bark! Bark! Bark!

Rock, rock, city block rock.

Swish-Swish jump rope round and round

Scritch scratch bright chalk on the ground.

Creak-Squeak swings float high and low

One big push before we go.

Rock, rock, city block rock.

Corner store doors jing-a-ling

Time to pick up one last thing.

Chit-chat chit-chat on the stoop

Finish up that ice cream scoop.

Rock, rock, city block rock.

Goodnight neighbors, goodnight street

Goodnight to the friends we meet.

Streetlight on, the day is done

Hush-a-bye my little one

Rock, rock, city block rock.

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

City Block Rock is a rhyming picture book that captures the joy and simplicity of taking a walk through the neighborhood.

Share your suggested book title

City Block Rock

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

City Block Rock is a rhyming picture book with repetitive, predictable text that young readers can respond to and memorize. At 170 words, this short, engaging manuscript will be able to hold even the youngest reader’s attention. This story mimics every day events with which children will be familiar, and the sing-song rhythm of the texts encourages re-readability (this book can be read over and over!). The simple format, paired with the right pictures, will allow children to retell the story themselves, or insert themselves into the action of the story. City Block Rock is a happy, upbeat story that will surely promote a positive interaction between caregivers and young readers as they share this story together.

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

I have lived in the city of Philadelphia and greater Philadelphia area for the last 15 years. By living, working, and raising my children in the city, I have become deeply familiar with the needs and hopes of city parents, as well as the struggles and triumphs of the students and families of the Philadelphia School District.

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

From Mayfair to Manayunk, Bridesburg to Bella Vista, Cobbs Creek to Callowhill, Overbrook to Old City, and everywhere in between - Parents and caregivers of small children will be able to relate to this timeless story of an adventure around the neighborhood and the familiar sights, people, and sounds they encounter. Having raised two young children in Philadelphia, I wrote this story based upon our daily routine of running errands in the neighborhood and walking to our local park.

Location: Country


Location: State or Department


Location: City


Website URL (optional question)

Tell us more about you / your team

I am a certified elementary and special education teacher, with a focus in early literacy skills. I worked as a Kindergarten teacher in Philadelphia prior to becoming a stay at home parent. A lifelong lover of books, I am also a current member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

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

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)

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

What best describes you? (optional question)

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


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jennifer Buis

Mary Kate, well done! Best wishes to you today! I loved the puppy part especially!

Jennifer Buis
Author of Buddy Goes To Clark Park in West Philadelphia

Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott

Nice crafting. Good use of rhythm and rhyme. Wonderful piece

Photo of Itika Gupta

Hi Mary Kate Bolinder welcome to the Challenge Community!
Lovely manuscript about little observations of objects and activities around the neighborhood for children. There are so many elements in your story that the children can relate to in their real life as well.
How might you simplify the vocabulary a little more and make it a little more sing along rhythmic to make it more engaging for your final audience of 0-3 yr olds?
Look forward to your story evolving over the next few weeks.

Photo of Perlina Murray

Goid effort. Try to make the rhythm rhyme a bit more.

Photo of Siobhan James

Lovely story and as you say short and very sweet. Loved the musicality that was inherent in your poetry. The pictures really add a lot of flavor. Well done.

Photo of Dawnnbooks .

There is a rythum to the piece that will lend itself to little ones singing it.

Nicely done.
I enjoyed it.

Photo of Mary Kate Bolinder

Thank you so much, Dawnnbooks . 

Photo of Kelly Andrews

A nice sunny Saturday feel! I really like this one -- very Philly!

Photo of Mary Kate Bolinder

Thank you, Kelly Andrews