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Lots to See, Lots to Say!

Babies, toddlers, and their caregivers use rhythm, rhyme, and playful language to explore the sights and sounds of their city neighborhood!

Photo of Leslie Bockol

Written by

Lots to See,

Lots to Say!


(see pdf for art specs and suggested ancillary text intended to enhance early learning concepts and prompt caregiver/child conversation about what they see in the picture.)



Down, 

       down, 

              down 

                       the stairs we go.

Take it easy, nice and slow.


There’s lots to see and lots to say

When we go walking every day!                             



Window, window, window, DOOR!

Count them up: 1, 2, 3, 4.



Pigeon, pigeon pigeon, CAT!

One is skinny, three are fat.                                        (abuela feeding pigeons)



Jingle, jingle, OPEN the door!

See the man who sweeps the floor.                           (at bodega/corner store)



Apples, grapes, and peaches -- YUM!

Fruit man! Fruit man! Sell us some!



Taxi, trolley, trash truck, bus.

Drivers! Drivers! Wave to us!



DONT walk. DON’T walk. DON’T walk. Then . . . 

Flash! The WALK sign tells us when!



Back and forth, and slide slide SLIDE!

The rocking horse is fun to ride!                              

                                                                   (playground: swings, slides, and more)

 

Sparkly fountain, splish-splash-SPLISH.

In goes a penny, out jumps a fish!



Up, up, up and down, down, down.

Raindrops fall all over town!



Clickety, clickety, clickety clack.

“WHOOSH!” comes the train. 

                                      We all step back.



Baby, baby, baby, MOM!

Happy, sleepy, fussy, calm.                     (mom w/3 babies; mom is the calm one)



Buildings rise up, tall, tall, TALL!

Down below, a painted wall.                    (view from train: skyscrapers & mural)



Hungry, hungry! Get a snack!

Count five pretzels in a stack.                                 (vendor cart)



Big truck, big truck, big truck, SMALL.

“Honk, honk, honk!” we tell them all.                       (city construction scene)



Whisper, whisper. Look, look, LOOK!

Time to choose a brand new book!                         (bustling library)



Up, up, up the stairs we go.

Take it easy, 

                     nice 

                             and 

                                      slow.

Home, home, HOME. The day is done. 

Seeing and saying was so much fun! 





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

Inspired by the author's years as a mom in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City, "Lots to See, Lots to Say!" follows young children and their caregivers on a typical day in their neighborhood, as they see lots of interesting things and discover lots of ways to say things about them. Rhythm, rhyme, and playful word repetition show readers how language can be fun to use with friends and family, while the embedded early learning concepts make the book an even richer experience.

Share your suggested book title

Lots to See, Lots to Say!

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).

Lots to See, Lots to Say! (see pdf for art specs and suggested ancillary text.) Down, down, down the stairs we go. Take it easy, nice and slow. There’s lots to see and lots to say When we go walking every day! Window, window, window, DOOR! Count them up: 1, 2, 3, 4. Pigeon, pigeon pigeon, CAT! One is skinny, three are fat. Jingle, jingle, OPEN the door! See the man who sweeps the floor. Apples, grapes, and peaches -- YUM! Fruit man! Fruit man! Sell us some! Taxi, trolley, trash truck, bus. Drivers! Drivers! Wave to us! DONT walk. DON’T walk. DON’T walk. Then . . . Flash! The WALK sign tells us when! Back and forth, and slide slide SLIDE! The rocking horse is fun to ride! Sparkly fountain, splish-splash-SPLISH. In goes a penny, out jumps a fish! Up, up, up and down, down, down. Raindrops fall all over town! Clickety, clickety, clickety clack. “WHOOSH!” comes the train. We all step back. Baby, baby, baby, MOM! Happy, sleepy, fussy, calm. Buildings rise up, tall, tall, TALL! Down below, a painted wall. Hungry, hungry! Get a snack! Count five pretzels in a stack. Big truck, big truck, big truck, SMALL. “Honk, honk, honk!” we tell them all. Whisper, whisper. Look, look, LOOK! Time to choose a brand new book! Up, up, up the stairs we go. Take it easy, nice and slow. Home, home, HOME. The day is done. Seeing and saying was so much fun!

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

I have worked as a children's book editor for over 20 years, developing early-learning titles for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, beginning readers, and middle-grade children. My experience has taught me that creating pleasure in the sound of language is crucial for drawing children's attention and getting them to engage; and that clear meaning and identifiable people, places and things are necessary for scaffolding their learning; and that modeling spoken language interaction between children and caregivers can help adults understand what a difference they can make. In my years of work, I have become very familiar with the resources of NAEYC, Head Start, and beginning reader foundational vocabulary lists such as Fry and Dolch.

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

My roots in Philadelphia are deep. I was raised just outside of Philadelphia; my parents were raised in the city, my great-grandparents settled there when they immigrated to this country, and my grandparents and many aunts and uncles lived there for their entire lives. Pennypacker Park was long the site of our family reunions, my parents got engaged at Logan Circle, and I have successfully driven around City Hall at rush hour! Philadelphia was the cultural center of my world as a young person and is a frequent destination now that I have children of my own. The Franklin Institute, the Art Museum, 30th Street Station, and the Mutter are among my favorite destinations.

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

I loved my years as mother to a young child in the bilingual community of Washington Heights, NYC. The life of the neighborhood -- sidewalks, parks, playgrounds, community centers, the public library -- made it obvious that supporting children was everyone's responsibility, not just parents'. Grandparents, extended family, neighbors, teachers and shopkeepers... it was a vibrant experience, and I think that the promoting language development by tapping into that experience can really connect with children and their caregivers.

Location: Country

West Orange, NJ, USA

Location: State or Department

New Jersey

Location: City

West Orange

Tell us more about you / your team

I am the mother of 2 children who sometimes love to read, and sometimes drop the books in a heap to go run and play instead! I have worked as a children's book editor for over 20 years. Most of those years I have focused on books focused on two approaches to early learning: beginning reader titles that blend phonics with whole language; and titles that integrate hands-on play-based experiences to encourage ALL children, even those who struggle with reading, to explore their world and build their knowledge. I think it's vitally important to find ways to reach children "where they live" -- understand what connects to them, understand what they are capable of, and give them opportunities to grow and learn from that foundation. That starts in infancy . . . and never stops.

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

Full art specs are in pdf. I think the images should be clear, high-contrast, simple, and bold, but not too "tidy," slick or commercialized. Objects should be easy to identify to support children learning the words for them! I envision each page or spread having a different featured pair -- caregiver and baby/toddler -- to represent the many kinds of families that make up a community. Space permitting, characters featured on one page can recur in backgrounds of other pages, for community feel.

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

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

I have worked as a children's book editor and in-house writer for many years. Most of my work does not have my name attached to it, but remains a source of great pride.

Do you have an agent?

  • No

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

  • I read about it on a Facebook group for children's book writers.

What best describes you? (optional question)

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

17 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Dea Brayden and Lindsay Brayden Ellis
Team

Really well done, Leslie. Love the rhythm and how accessible this is.

Photo of Leslie Bockol
Team

Thanks so much! I love playing with rhythm, glad you enjoyed it. :)
Good luck to all of us!

Photo of Peigné Aurélie
Team

The rhythm is indeed really interesting and words are remaining in your head. Extremely interesting to enlarge kids' perspective in a funny way!

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