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Summer Senses in the City

This story helps caregivers teach children ages 0 to 3 the 5 senses through rhyme and onomatopoeia, while focusing on urban experiences.

Photo of Pamela Tuck

Written by

In the summer, I go on the front porch with Mom. It is too hot to stay inside. Mom sits on a cushion in her chair, swaying back and forth. I stand against the rail, watching Allison Street.

We see girls coming out of their houses with ropes. They stand on the sidewalk.

Pit-ta, pit-ta, pat, pat,
Ropes turn and touch the ground. [Girls turning double-dutch]
Pit-ta, pit-ta, pat, pat,
Feet moving up and down.

Soon, we hear chimes coming from a truck. [Water ice truck] It stops in the street. Mom gives me money to give to the driver. He opens a side window and shows us all the flavors.

We taste the cool treat.

Slurp, slurp, slurp and squeeze,
We push the sweet ice up.
Slurp, slurp, slurp and squeeze,
Ice melting in the cup.

Later, Mom says to me, “Time to eat, Jay.”

We walk to the store on the corner. We smell onions cooking on the grill.

Sizzle, sizzle, hot, hot,
Add meat and cheese, chop, chop.
Sizzle, sizzle, hot, hot,
Stuffing rolls to the top. 
[cheesesteaks]

Soon, the sun drops behind the houses. The street quiets down.

“Time to go inside Jay,” Mom says.

Mom runs my bath water. She washes the heat away. I get into my jammies.

Mom gets a book and we sit together in a chair.

Look and read, turn the page,
I touch the pages too.
Look and read, turn the page,
“Mom, let me read to you.”

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

My vision for this book is to entertain and enlighten young readers with an introduction to learning about the 5 senses by using urban aspects. The concept of the book is to encourage children and caregivers to read the story again and again, as suggested in the prose.

Share your suggested book title

Summer Senses in the 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).

In the summer, I go on the front porch with Mom. It is too hot to stay inside. Mom sits on a cushion in her chair, swaying back and forth. I stand against the rail, watching Allison Street. We see girls coming out of their houses with ropes. They stand on the sidewalk. Pit-ta, pit-ta, pat, pat, Ropes turn and touch the ground. [Girls turning double-dutch] Pit-ta, pit-ta, pat, pat, Feet moving up and down. Soon, we hear chimes coming from a truck. [Water ice truck] It stops in the street. Mom gives me money to give to the driver. He opens a side window and shows us all the flavors. We taste the cool treat. Slurp, slurp, slurp and squeeze, We push the sweet ice up. Slurp, slurp, slurp and squeeze, Ice melting in the cup. Later, Mom says to me, “Time to eat, Jay.” We walk to the store on the corner. We smell onions cooking on the grill. Sizzle, sizzle, hot, hot, Add meat and cheese, chop, chop. Sizzle, sizzle, hot, hot, Stuffing rolls to the top. [cheesesteaks] Soon, the sun drops behind the houses. The street quiets down. “Time to go inside Jay,” Mom says. Mom runs my bath water. She washes the heat away. I get into my jammies. Mom gets a book and we sit together in a chair. Look and read, turn the page, I touch the pages too. Look and read, turn the page, “Mom, let me read to you.”

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

This manuscript uses Tier 1 vocabulary words, rhyme and onomatopoeia to engage young readers. The concept of introducing the 5 senses will also provide caregivers with ways to support language development and comprehension.

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

My husband was raised in West Philadelphia on Allison Street (the street referenced in the story), The ideas and events in the story are based on our experiences in the neighborhood.

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

I have crafted the story to include some familiar experiences in urban areas, such as jumping double-dutch, eating water ices and cheesesteaks, while focusing on the 5 senses. The use of rhyme is implemented to engage the reader and allow young readers to infer the activity by SHOWING and not TELLING. For instance, girls jumping double-dutch is described through rhyme and onomatopoeia : Pit-ta, pit-ta, pat, pat, Ropes turn and touch the ground. Pit-ta, pit-ta, pat, pat, Feet moving up and down.

Location: Country

United States

Location: State or Department

PA

Location: City

Boyertown

Website URL (optional question)

www.pamelamtuck.com

Tell us more about you / your team

I am a children's book writer and mother of 11 children. I also work as a Title I/Instructional coach, assisting struggling readers in the areas of recognizing power words, reading fluency, comprehension, and inferring. I have done volunteer work as an author in engaging urban children in literacy through participation in programs, such as WePAC (West Philadelphia Alliance for Children) who have restored libraries back into urban schools.

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

I work with an awesome illustrator, Tiffani J. Smith, who is an English teacher in the Philadelphia School District, and also holds a BA in Fine Arts. She often reflects her characters in a whimsical way that engages young people.

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

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Mother of Many published by Mascot Books (official release date June 4, 2019) As Fast As Words Could Fly published by Lee & Low Books April 2013 Color Struck published by Createspace June 2010 The Adventures of Sheldon, the Mushroom published by Createspace June 2010

Do you have an agent?

  • No

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

  • Direct email invitation
  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)
  • My marketing representative at Lee & Low Books forwarded me an email.

What best describes you? (optional question)

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

16 comments

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Comment
Spam
Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Hi Pamela Tuck  welcome to the Challenge Community!
Loved reading a story that helps children understand and engage with all their 5 senses. Considering how much children explore their world through all senses, this story is a great nudge.
To make it more sing along and engaging for children to listen repeatedly, how can you evolve the story to add more rhythm to it ?

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