Everyday things fascinate small people. Written in verse, this book takes reader and child to a windowsill to feed a pigeon and then sees all that a pigeon sees when it flies over Philadelphia.
Another child sees a construction elevator from behind the tall fence, and wonders what the workers see up high in their work-place. the second page has few words, but shows different jobs in construction, tools, and safety equipment to prevent falling.
A third child interacts with a squirrel, which leads to a view of the child from the squirrel's nest in the tree, and shows life in the tall ginkgo tree.
When another child, surrounded by toy cars on the floor, is falling asleep, the roar of the heater wakes him. The scene moves to the basement, where the "dragon" heater is surrounded by tools, old objects, and seasonal stored items to identify.
Kids love water, and a leaf becomes a boat for an acorn, as a child sends her boat down the storm drain and wonders where it goes. It is followed by a page showing items floating along with the boat, a sunny end to the tunnel far ahead.
Walking across a huge bridge is a little scary, and a big adventure for small kids. The reader's hand anchors the child as he sees details of construction, whizzing traffic, and finally the underwater world beneath the bridge.
The final stanza is an invitation to child and reader to explore the world together, and brings many of the animals and objects from previous pages together in the illustration, to be discovered by little eyes.
Up, Down, All Around Philadelphia
Strutting on my windowsill
Pigeon puffs her feathers.
She nibbles seeds
We sprinkle there
For food in winter weather.
High she flies!
What’s up there?
The fence is tall but I can see
An elevator climb.
It’s lifting workers
to the top.
Their hammers beat in time.
What are they building
Way up there?
Do they get scared?
Bouncing my ball on a jangling fence
Under a Ginkgo tree.
The squirrel knows the path
To his warm snug nest
He scampers away from me!
What does he see
In his tree so tall?
Why doesn’t he fall?
My cheek rests on the smooth cool floor
I’m almost fast asleep.
The dragon in the basement
He rumbles way down deep.
I feel hot breath on me.
What’s down below?
Can we go?
Wet leaves are dancing. Raincoat weather!
A streamlet rushes past.
It shimmers on the sidewalk
And dives beneath the grate.
My acorn boat is fast.
It drops into glittering darkness.
Will it ever
Reach the river?
The cables on the bridge are strong.
Raised on towers high.
Whooooo! blow whizzing cars and trucks,
We walk above the water.
A loaded barge slides by.
Your hand anchors me.
Who lives down deep?
Do they swim or creep?
Up, down, all around
There’s so much more to see
What can their stories be?
Can we go see?
Come with me!
(ON THE BACK COVER, for parents/care-givers:)
Ideas for Readers:
The more kids talk, the better readers they will become.
*Talk TO them: tell them about your day, your work, your meal, your favorite team.
*Ask kids questions that require detailed answers, and listen as they speak.
(What scary things would you like to try? How would you stay safe? Have you ever made friends with an animal?)
*Enjoy identifying details in picture books. As you re-read the book and the child matures, they will learn to "read pictures" and identify more and more objects in the world around them. Compare the story to your own life.
(What is in our basement? What tools have you used? Where would you fly if you were a pigeon?)
*Read books over and over again. Read, read, read, and soon your child will be reading to you!