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I am an American city.

This story is about making the city itself the narrator, with a sense of texture and poetry, and simple, colorful illustrations.

Photo of K.J. Scribbles
1 1

Written by

I am an American city.

You might call me Philly.


I am green and gray.

I am rarely silent.

I am often squeaky.


In the summer, I am hot and sticky,

and we make lemonade.


In the winter, I am cold and bitter,

and we make snowballs.


I am one. We are many.


We are black and white.

We are every shade of brown.


We are immigrants and neighbors.

We are sisters and brothers.

We are boys and men.

We are fanatic and gritty.


There are cracks between us,

but we are held together with pride.


Let me show you where we are from.


When the taxis honk,

we smile.


When the sidewalk ends,

we turn left.


When the city sings,

we dance with soul.


When the eagles fly,

we all win.


If we are forgotten,

we work harder.


If we are hungry,

we share food.


If we are lost,

we find our roots.


If someone knocks us down,

we stand up and fight.


I love my city and it loves me back.

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

I want young kids (and care-givers) who read this book together to get a sense of what it means to live and/or grow-up in a city and feel like they want to go outside and be a part of it. I want readers to know that the city loves them (and so do we).

Share your suggested book title

I am an American city.

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

I intentionally wrote with small words, short sentences and a simple format that is easy to follow. I intentionally wrote in a poetric framework to capture the attention of young minds and to make it fun to read for care-givers.

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

I have never lived in Philadelphia, but I know a few people live there now or who grew-up there and I asked them for input that directly inspired the story. After sharing a first draft of the manuscript, I have a long list of ideas of how to make it better. In the next draft, I want to add more local Philadelphia experiences and get real-time feedback from families who are living there now.

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

My intention was to create a sense of everything that is amazing and challenging for kids/families that grow-up or live in a city. I want the story to be uplifting and optimistic, honest and authentic.

Location: Country


Location: State or Department


Location: City

Mill Valley

Website URL (optional question)

Tell us more about you / your team

I write and illustrate children's books that are inspired by the character of materials (wool, paper, cork, rubber, etc). I write and illustrate children's books that teach science of the moon, daisies and unicorns with a focus on storytelling.

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

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Woollard: The Little Stitched Book Woollard: In New York City Woollard: At The North Pole

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

Attachments (1)

LOVE (Philadelphia).pdf

This file shows the first few pages of illustration to give a sense of the illustration style and to identify the main character.

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Dawnnbooks .

Interesting point of view.
No one ever asks the City for its thoughts. LOL
Good luck to us all.