OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

My Busy, Colorful City

Combination of recognizable scenes from city life with simple words, bright colors, and interactive aspects (like turning, flipping book).

Photo of Meredith Hardt

Written by

Orange sun over Independence Hall. (Cue to caregiver to raise book high overhead) Silver train speeds from uptown down. (cue to flip book upside down) White bus rolls from downtown up. (this page would be printed "upside down" and would cue to flip back over) Black streets circle the city like a crown. (put book on caregiver's head then child's head) Red light changes and everybody stops. (hands up to stop) Green light now and off they go. (mime running) Tall brown steps take them two at a time. (use two fingers to mime walking up steps) Purple clouds float above LOVE park. (make book float and dance) Blue rain drops onto our feet. (mime raindrops with fingers) Our city is a rainbow made of you and me. (arc book through air then point to child and yourself)

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

I envision a book with simple words and bright pictures of city life. Along with the book text, will be additional prompts/cues to the adult reader to physically engage the child as well. Such as flipping the book upside down and back, putting the book on the child's (and caregiver's) head like a crown, etc. Potentially using sign (ASL/ baby sign), as sign language has been shown (in an NIH study) to advance language and literacy earlier and with lasting benefit into childhood.

Share your suggested book title

My Busy, Colorful City

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).

Orange sun over Independence Hall. (Cue to caregiver to raise book high overhead) Silver train speeds from uptown down. (cue to flip book upside down) White bus rolls from downtown up. (this page would be printed "upside down" and would cue to flip back over) Black streets circle the city like a crown. (put book on caregiver's head then child's head) Red light changes and everybody stops. (hands up to stop) Green light now and off they go. (mime running) Tall brown steps take them two at a time. (use two fingers to mime walking up steps) Purple clouds float above LOVE park. (make book float and dance) Blue rain drops onto our feet. (mime raindrops with fingers) Our city is a rainbow made of you and me. (arc book through air then point to child and yourself)

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

In my research, and as a mother to young children, I have learned that babies and toddlers often have trouble sitting through a story. When interactivity is involved, they are more engaged. Readingrockets.org's reading tips for parents of toddlers, advises choosing engaging books and encouraging play, and that is what I have tried to do with this manuscript. I also included colors, opposites, and directions.

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

I visited Philadelphia when I was young, but I haven't been back in many years. Instead, I drew on my experiences living in urban environments in Chicago and Nashville.

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

I hope to show the everyday sights, of children in urban settings, particularly Philadelphian landmarks, in a more playful way. Perhaps, they will see the same sights in their daily lives, and revisit the actions and words of the book.

Location: Country

The United States

Location: State or Department

Illinois

Website URL (optional question)

Instagram: casey_hardt_author

Tell us more about you / your team

I am a mother to three small girls, two of which were born in, and spent their toddler years in, the downtown area of Chicago. I remember the awe in which they viewed other family member's backyards, asking if they lived at the park. The experience of a child in the city is different than a suburban or rural upbringing, and getting to see their experiences in a book is exciting for a child.

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

I would like to see brightly colored paper collages as the illustrations. Along the lines of Ashley Barron's cut paper collages. Above artwork is my own.

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)

  • SCBWI twitter feed

What best describes you? (optional question)

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

18 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Great job on your collage Meredith!

View all comments