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Shopping Day

Shopping day means there's no time to play. Or is there? Follow mama and child to and from the store in their busy urban neighborhood.

Photo of Maggie Ainsworth
2 2

Written by

(Child is playing; Mama says..)

“It’s shopping day. 

No time to play!”

Put on gloves. 

Jacket too.

Sun is shining. 

Sky so blue. 

Holding hands. 

Wave hello. 

Neighbors come. 

Neighbors go. 

Playground, playground! 

Look over there!

Not today, dear.

No time to spare. 

It’s shopping day. 

No time to play! 

Big glass doors. 

Open wide. 

Lots of things. 

To see inside. 

Colorful fruit. 

Big and small. 

Throw and catch. 

Like a ball! 

“No!” says Mama 

with a frown. 

"Not in here. 

Please put it down." 

"It’s shopping day.

No time to play!"

Roll and scoot.

Push and pull.

Lots of food.

Cart is full!

Food goes into 

Bags filled high.

Wave to worker.

Say bye-bye!

Hopping, skipping.

Done at last!

"Wait!" says Mama.

"Not so fast!"

"It’s shopping day.

No time to play!"

Neighbors come.

Neighbors go.

Driver smiles

Says "Hello!"

Bumpy bus ride.

Hold on tight.

Bus zooms left.

Bus zooms right.

Bags of food.

On Mama’s lap.

Curl up close.

A little nap.

"It’s shopping day.

No time to play!"

Goodbye driver!

Hello street!

Walk with Mama.

Tired feet.

Home again.

Shopping done.

Mama says…

"Time for fun!"

(illustration shows Mama & child playing)

It’s shopping day! 

There IS time to play!



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

My intention with Shopping Day is to use rhyme and repetition to describe a common experience (grocery shopping) through the eyes of a child in an urban setting. As the child and parent in the story connect throughout the book, I hope that the child and reading caregiver will also experience connection as they read this playful story.

Share your suggested book title

Shopping Day

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

This manuscript is written in playful rhyme that is ideal for a read-aloud book and also accessible to young children through the use of Tier 1 vocabulary, as well as repetition. The vocabulary is rich but also simple enough for a caregiver who does not speak English as a first language. Additionally, the concepts introduced in this book would be familiar to even very young children, and the connection with the caregiver figure in the book would serve to strengthen the connection with the reader's caregiver. This book seeks to foster an interactive experience for the caregiver and child as they read together about a familiar experience of going to the grocery store.

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

I have visited friends who live in urban Philadelphia and explored the city with them on foot. I also live in an urban area of San Francisco and used many images that are part of my daily routine to enliven the context for the manuscript.

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

In many urban contexts, children and caregivers often walk or take the bus to run regular errands. In Shopping Day, I reflected this reality by narrating the scene as the parent and child walk together to the grocery store and take the bus back home. Along the way, they see neighbors, a playground, grocery story workers, as well as the bus driver, which are all relevant to an urban setting. Additionally, the grocery store itself provides new experiences and sites for the child to take in and explore.

Location: Country


Location: State or Department


Location: City

San Francisco

Tell us more about you / your team

I am an adoptive mother of 3, seeking to raise my trans-racial family with an awareness of the beauty and diversity of the world they live in. As an aspiring children's book author, I love to connect with children through writing. I believe stories are powerful to help children understand connect with caregivers and process their experiences. My hope is to write books for children that give them these tools and increase their love of reading.

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


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Photo of Robyn Campbell

So much fun. Best of luck.

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