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MY Bright Lights!

A joyful trip from daycare to home, structured as a call-and-response between a young dad and his son.

Photo of Susan Korman

Written by

[Young dad picking up his son from daycare]

Whose cool school?

MY cool school!


[Crowded city bus]

Whose big bus?

MY big bus!


[funny animal sounds--hands over ears]

Whose loud zoo?

MY loud zoo!


[playground]

Whose play park?

MY play park!


Whose slick slide?

MY slick slide!


[top of steps at art museum or a tall building]

Whose tall steps?

MY tall steps!


[food truck selling water ice]

Whose ice man?

MY ice man!


[fountain or community pool]

Whose splash pool?

MY splash pool!


[street performers]

Whose steel drums?

[big font for high volume] MY steel drums!


[library]

[tiny font for whispers] Whose bear book?

[tiny font for whispers] MY bear book!


[apartment building greeting twins in a stroller]

Whose two friends?

MY two friends!


[roof deck at dusk; child in pajamas]

Whose roof deck?

MY roof deck!

 

[now it's dark; looking out at glittering cityscape]

Whose bright lights?

MY bright lights!


[bedtime]

Whose sweet home?

[small font, descending size] MY . . . sweet . . . [asleep]

[Dad finishes] Home.


[alternate ending]

Whose sweet home?

[small font, descending size] MY . . . sweet . . . home. [asleep]

[Dad] OUR sweet home.



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

MY Bright Lights! traces a day in the life of a young child and his young father as they travel from daycare to home. I am trying to capture everyday life in a city as well as a child's emerging awareness of self ("MY!") and belonging to "home" in an engaging format.

Share your suggested book title

MY Bright Lights!

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).

[Young dad picking up his son from daycare] Whose cool school? MY cool school! [Crowded city bus] Whose big bus? MY big bus! [funny animal sounds--hands over ears] Whose loud zoo? MY loud zoo! [playground] Whose play park? MY play park! Whose slick slide? MY slick slide! [top of steps at art museum or a tall building] Whose tall steps? MY tall steps! [food truck selling water ice] Whose ice man? MY ice man! [fountain or community pool] Whose splash pool? MY splash pool! [street performers] Whose steel drums? [big font for high volume] MY steel drums! [library] [tiny font for whispers] Whose bear book? [tiny font for whispers] MY bear book! [apartment building greeting twins in a stroller] Whose two friends? MY two friends! [roof deck at dusk; child in pajamas] Whose roof deck? MY roof deck! [now it's dark; looking out at glittering cityscape] Whose bright lights? MY bright lights! [bedtime] Whose sweet home? [small font, descending size] MY . . . sweet . . . [asleep] [Dad finishes] Home. [alternate ending] Whose sweet home? [small font, descending size] MY . . . sweet . . . home. [asleep] [Dad] OUR sweet home.

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

The manuscript's structure is an interactive call-and-response (with "serve & returns"), designed to engage both caretaker and child to promote bonding and learning. The structure also traces an afternoon, a predictable sequence to most children, which aids comprehension and personal connections. I've used concrete Tier 1 language and patterned repetition. Themes for discussion include community, urban life, concepts such as color, size, and opposites, and "home." Finally, I've tried to incorporate a whiff of humor to make the reading experience fun and memorable.

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

I know the city well as I share my time between a house in the Philadelphia suburbs and an apartment in the city. I've also published a children's book about the city, P is for Philadelphia, which has allowed me to explore the city's landmarks and lesser-known delights!

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

With its joyful tone, I've crafted the book to be a celebration of urban energy and richness that sparks pride and belonging in a child who lives in the city. I've used very simple, repetitive language so a child can easily spot a pattern, acquire vocabulary, and gain other reading skills. My hope is that the language and short, three-syllable lines also give the book a fast pace and bouncy rhythm, benefiting caretaker and child by making it fun to read together.

Location: Country

USA

Location: State or Department

Pennsylvania

Location: City

Yardley, PA & Philadelphia, PA

Website URL (optional question)

www.susankorman.net My work is also found on the Little Fox website (www.littlefox.com), which publishes entertaining and educational stories written to teach English to young children.

Tell us more about you / your team

I am a writer/editor specializing in books for children and teens. I've published over thirty books for children and edited many bestselling series. I've also worked as an elementary school librarian, which helped me to see firsthand what kids like to read and what keeps them coming back for more. In my writing, I enjoy finding precise language that speaks directly to a young audience and sprinkling texts with humor.

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)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Digital: www.littlefox.com (Bat & Friends; South Street School; and many other series and singles) Print (a sampling): A Tsunami Unfolds (Pearson, 2016) Noah: Ila's Story (Titan Books, 2014) Overexposed (Surviving Southside YA series, Lerner, 2013) Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (junior novel, HarperCollins, 2012) Rachael Ray (Young Adult Top Chef series, Eldorado Ink, 2012) Bad Deal (Surviving Southside YA series, YA series, Lerner, 2011) P is for Philadelphia (Temple Press, 2005

Do you have an agent?

  • No

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

  • Direct email invitation

What best describes you? (optional question)

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

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