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WHO'S ON THE GO, BOOK IN TOW?

Destination story time! Toddlers and caregivers use various modes of transportation with their books in tow on the way to the city library.

Photo of Marty lapointe-malchik

Written by

WHO'S ON THE GO?

Page 4-5 

Who’s on the go?

Who’s on the go? 

Who’s on the bike with a book in tow? 

Page 6-7 

Pablo plays peek-a-boo with a book. 

Page 8-9 

Who’s on the go? 

Who’s on the go? 

Who’s on the bridge with a book in tow? 

Page 10-11 

Tom touches a book. 

Page 12-13 

Who’s on the go? 

Who’s on the go? 

Who’s on the bus with a book in tow? 

Page 14-15 

Yashika shares a book. 

Page 16-17 

Who’s on the go? 

Who’s on the go? 

Who’s underground with a book in tow? 

Page 18-19 

Ting turns the pages. Baba reads the book. 

Page 20-21 

Who’s on the go? 

Who’s on the go? 

Who’s on the train with a book in tow? 

Page 22-23 

Juan wears the book on his head. Papi laughs. 

Page 24-25 

Who’s on the go? 

Who’s on the go? 

Who’s in the car with a book in tow? 

Page 26-27 

Lucy looks at  a book. 

Page 28-29 

Who’s on the go? 

Who’s on the go? 

Who’s on the steps with a book in tow? 

Page 30-31 

Everybody big, everybody small. 

Many, many books for one and all. 

Page 32 

Story time!

Illustration Note: Children and their caregivers enjoy books while using a variety of transportation modes on their way to the city library for toddler story hour.  

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

Families are always on the go. My hope is that this manuscript will promote taking a book along to read to a child. Books are portable, packed with language, and enchanting to read over and over again. The repetitive chant has an engaging rhythm. The book features culturally diverse families with toddlers toting books that they enjoy on the way to the city library's story time.

Share your suggested book title

WHO'S ON THE GO?

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

The Rollins Center for Language and Literacy resource features Zoe, a seven-year-old reader who learned to read through her early interactions with caregivers. Teachers of infants and toddlers make book reading interactive. Transportation toys are common ground in a child's play settings. In urban contexts looking out the window can connect what children see with what's on the pages of WHO'S ON THE GO? Busy parents on the go can tote a library book for free. Singing Take me for a Ride in Your Car, Car could be sung to help toddlers tune in to the topic. Having conversations to build language is more beneficial than learning colors, numbers, and letters for infants and toddlers brains. According to Angela Shelton, rhythm and rhyme build the reading brain and pave the way for phonological awareness. 'Who's on the go? Who's on the go?' has a thumping beat. Neurons to Neighborhood research underscores the importance of community inspiring me to end the book with story time at the library.

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

I visited Philadelphia on a few occasions when on vacation or visiting colleges. We toured the Philadelphia mint as a family and enjoyed the Reading Terminal Market years ago. When researching the area to generate ideas for this manuscript I was enchanted by the Philadelphia neighborhood names. I picture the children at the Fishtown Free Library for story time as a potential image. I purposely included names that would be relatable to families from diverse backgrounds. There is room for the illustrator to include LGBTQ family units as well as differently abled children and caregivers. All children need to see themselves in books from an early age.

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

The urban contexts included in the manuscript are city modes of transportation as well as the community library setting. Yashika on the bus with a book in tow could be depicted as specific as the Philly Phlash or as generic as the busses in LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET or JULIAN IS A MERMAID. There is room for the illustrator to include diverse families throughout the city. I selected names of the characters in the book to reflect cultural differences. Warm interactions between caregivers on the go and their children is facilitated by the presence of that book that is in tow. Grown ups read on public transportation, modeling a lifelong love of reading for the young children on board.

Location: Country

USA

Location: State or Department

Massachusetts

Location: City

Concord

Website URL (optional question)

www.imarty.com Please feel free to consider my manuscript and art separately. A person of color may be best suited to illustrate this book. I trust publishers to make the best decisions regarding design, illustration style, and marketability.

Tell us more about you / your team

I am an author illustrator who has been published in HIGH FIVE and HIGHLIGHTS magazines. Two of my illustrations and one of my animal poems are within the recently published AN ASSORTMENT OF ANIMALS, a poetry anthology produced by the Writers' Loft and its members. The image included shows me sharing my work at a local independent bookstore. I am an active member of SCBWI, a society for children's book writers and illustrators. I belong to critique groups and attend conferences. I work as a specialty service provider in early intervention agencies in Massachusetts. Language learning is my primary area of expertise as a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing. I work in homes with many families who are bilingual or multilingual. I taught preschool for more than ten years. My profession all started with a volunteer job at Head Start when I was in high school. I am 100% committed to the focus of this challenge and thrilled to be able to submit my work for consideration.

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

The repetitive text for this submission has a sparse word count to intentionally leave room for many tier one words to appear as images a child and caregiver can converse about and connect to the outside world they live in. Including books and readers of all ages in the illustrations makes for a reason to pore over the pages again and again. The vibrant city streets the characters travel on to get to the library offer abundant language learning opportunities in the art.

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

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Contributor, as a member of the Writers' Loft, to AN ASSORTMENT OF ANIMALS:A CHILDREN'S POETRY ANTHOLOGY, November 1, 2018. Poem, BUTTERFLY, BUTTERFLY, in HIGH FIVE MAGAZINE, 2012 Folktale Retelling, RUNAWAY BLUE, in HIGHLIGHTS MAGAZINE, 2008

Do you have an agent?

  • No

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

  • Twitter, SCBWI tweet by Lin Oliver

What best describes you? (optional question)

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

This inspired (1)

BOOK BABY

20 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Perlina Murray
Team

Nice effort. I don't think the page numbers are necessary.

Photo of Laya Steinberg
Team

Hi Marty,
I really like your sweet story—especially the repeated refrain in the form of a question. Your illustration samples are lovely. I can see how as an illustrator, your text is leaving a lot of room for the art, so I'm glad you added art notes to say that they are all heading to a story time at the library. And the fact that all these diverse kids will come together at the end is terrific. Good luck!
Laya (a fellow eastern MA SCBWI-er)

Photo of Marty lapointe-malchik
Team

Thank you, Laya! I so appreciate your feedback. I'm so glad to hear that you liked my illustration samples. Nice to meet a fellow eastern MA SCBWI-er in this early childhood book challenge. Good Luck to you, too!

Photo of Elsa Brink
Team

Such a sweet book. As a mom of little kids, it's a great reminder to me to remember to 'have a book in tow' when I'm 'on the go!' Well done!

Photo of Joannie Duris
Team

Hi, Marty. A familiar name and face! I love how all your manuscripts reflect your expertise on the needs of the youngest listeners with short, repetitive, bouncy rhythm and rhyme. This story is a perfect read aloud. And yes, books go everywhere.

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

I really enjoyed reading this Marty and love the way that everybody ends up at a story time session. The repetition is fabulous and there's lots of scope for an illustrator to interpret the pictures. Good luck :)

Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Reading through the ideas, I came across another storyteller Sarah Naqvi  who is also exploring the theme of importance of books and reading. Connecting you two Sarah Naqvi and Marty lapointe-malchik  to provide a couple lines of feedback to one another’s manuscript submissions.
Happy connecting!

Photo of Sarah Naqvi
Team

Thanks Itika Gupta for the connection. Marty lapointe-malchik great minds think alike! I like the repetition embedded throughout the book and how each page emphasizes books in a range of ways to the reader. I really love how you chose names for characters that could be representative of the focus community!

Photo of Marty lapointe-malchik
Team

Hi Sarah,
Thank you for the compliments. Do you have any suggestions for ways I might improve? I love the way you have brought reading into everyday city life in your manuscript. Love the elevator numbers as reading material! There's something wonderful about opening with Apples, Carrots, Peas, Milk and the baby being shown a grocery list of familiar foods. I love the repetition of 'reading with baby'. Maybe that should be the title!? It's nice that the caregiver is reading 'with' instead of 'to' the baby. I was wondering if you would consider adding more of those catchy repetitive phrases, 'Grocery time!' and 'Bath time' throughout your text describing the other times in this way. I could see toddlers learning to anticipate those and eventually chiming in. Great job, Sarah. Best of luck moving forward with this challenge!

Photo of Marty lapointe-malchik
Team

Thanks so much for connecting us, Itika! This is a wonderful community of people who are committed to this project and so full of creative ideas!

Photo of Sarah Naqvi
Team

What a great suggestion for the book title! I like that a lot and will also see if I can incorporate the 'grocery time!', 'bath time!' phrases into the text further as well. I'm glad you appreciate the small difference between 'reading with' and 'reading to', that felt very important to me. I've gone through your manuscript a couple of times and honestly can't think of much to improve it. The one thing that does come to mind is finding ways to incorporate the local Philadelphia scene into the pages, I noted you are planning to do that with your images and I feel that is perfect! All the best with this challenge!!

Photo of Marty lapointe-malchik
Team

Thank you, Sarah. So happy to hear that my comments might be helpful. As with any feedback, take what you might use and disregard the rest. It's yours to tweak or not. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my entry and give your feedback. All the Best, Marty

Photo of Kelly Andrews
Team

This comes together really well. I like the repeated lines and the way all the characters come together. Really good.

Photo of Marty lapointe-malchik
Team

Thank you, Kelly! It’s great to hear the specific ways that my text appealed to you.

Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

Nice repetition of book in tow

Photo of Marty lapointe-malchik
Team

Thanks so much, Dawn!

Photo of Meredith Hardt
Team

LOVE the idea of encouraging bringing books wherever the children go. Well done!

Photo of Marty lapointe-malchik
Team

Thank you, Meredith!

Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Hi Marty lapointe-malchik malchik welcome to the Challenge Community!
Your experience as an author illustrator for children really comes across in the manuscript and how it uses tools of repetition and rhythm to engage little children.
Since one of the elements in the Challenge Evaluation criteria is taking up conversations into non-traditional spaces of race, culture and community etc., it may be interesting to see how this story can be tweaked to talk about diversity and inclusion to children.

Photo of Marty lapointe-malchik
Team

Hi Itika,
Thank you for commenting on the tools I've used to engage little ones. Diversity is crucial to visuals and text for young children of all cultures. It's a criteria I will revisit to see how I can have it reflected in the art or in the words. Maybe the 'who' that is on the go could be various toddlers and both a book and a treasured animal is what is in tow. Maybe that last spread is a baby and toddler story hour image showing diverse families. Everyone's on the go with a book in tow on their way to the library where they are all together enjoying books. That could give purpose to why they all have books and are heading somewhere with them.

Are you familiar with Lois Ehlert's lovely work? She uses a wonderfully inclusive tool by having the reader be the main character in many of her books. Whoever is holding the book is represented. The diversity is implied not explicit. At the end of the manuscript that I submitted I wanted the last question to be about 'you'. I find inspiration in how Lois Ehlert achieves inclusivity without depicting diverse children but rather including their presence as the reader audience. I'm not sure this technique is working well for this challenge and I'm happy to revise to meet the criteria with care and attention to your focus. More to follow, thanks again!