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WITH LOVE, PHILLY: A LETTER TO THE CHILDREN

Philadelphia's love for its children is shown through the language of opposites and the places a child would visit in the city.

Photo of Ann Kelley
8 5

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WITH LOVE, PHILLY: A LETTER TO THE CHILDREN

by Ann Kelley


Dear little one,

 

My LO for you is everywhere.

       VE

 

It’s in the smooth touch of Grandpop’s wrinkled hand 

 

as he holds yours

 

while you climb on dry rocks 

 

and jump in the wet spray of Sister Cities Fountain.

 

It’s the loud honking cars 

 

and barking yellow dogs 

 

passing by the quiet Moon Tree.

 

It tastes sweet as a Shoofly pie,

 

and cool as Thai rolled ice cream

 

on a hot summer day.

 

It reaches high as skyscrapers 

 

and low as the subway.

 

It’s fast as the Giant Slide

 

and slow as Papi’s hug

 

when he catches you at the bottom. 

 

It’s round as the carousel in Franklin Square

 

and soft as Grandma’s lap as you rest 

 

on a Storytelling Bench to hear a tale.

 

It smells fresh as the pitter-pattering rain

 

and minty as Mama’s breath 

 

as she tucks you in bed.

 

It’s bright as the twinkling stars

 

and dark when you close your eyes.

 

Sleep tight, dear little one.

 

And as you grow big, 

 

may you always know 

 

how much you are loved.

 

~ Philly

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

Through my story, I hope to capture the love of Phildelphia and the love of families, no matter if the child is being raised by grandparents, single parents, or another family unit. I envision photographs (as the illustrations) of children with grandparents and parents from various backgrounds as they engage in activities around the city such playing at Smith Memorial Playground and Sister Cities Fountain so the children can see themselves reflected in this story and make real-world connections.

Share your suggested book title

WITH LOVE, PHILLY: A LETTER TO THE CHILDREN

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).

Dear little one, My LO for you is everywhere. VE It’s in the smooth touch of Grandpop’s wrinkled hand as he holds yours while you climb on dry rocks and jump in the wet spray of Sister Cities Fountain. It’s the loud honking cars and barking yellow dogs passing by the quiet Moon Tree. It tastes sweet as a Shoofly pie, and cool as Thai rolled ice cream on a hot summer day. It reaches high as skyscrapers and low as the subway. It’s fast as the Giant Slide and slow as Papi’s hug when he catches you at the bottom. It’s round as the carousel in Franklin Square and soft as Grandma’s lap as you rest on a Storytelling Bench to hear a tale. It smells fresh as the pitter-pattering rain and minty as Mama’s breath as she tucks you in bed. It’s bright as the twinkling stars and dark when you close your eyes. Sleep tight, dear little one. And as you grow big, may you always know how much you are loved. ~ Philly

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

My story offers caregivers opportunities to interact with their child by talking about what is happening in the story and asking questions about how the child in the story is feeling or what will happen next. It encourages caregivers to show love to their child in different ways and discuss how love might feel, smell, look, taste, and sound to that child. Through the story text and illustrations, culture and the importance of relationships would be demonstrated by the different types of family units as they explore Philadelphia. My book was informed by early language development research and evidence. I read these articles: Culture Matters, Readers Guide Tips for Parents, Types of Books, Why It Is Never Too Early to Read to Your Child, as well as watched the Challenge webinars, and reviewed the Tier 1 and Tier 2 lists, the Milestones of Early Literacy Development, and the Sharing Books With Your 1-Year-Old, 2-Year-Old, and 3-Year-Old.

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

I have not visited Philadelphia. I researched books and visited the many websites of places and activities that Philadelphia has to offer families. I looked at what the popular dog breed was in 2018. I discovered unique foods that are part of Philadelphia. I read that grandparents raising grandchildren is on the rise. Philadelphia has such a rich history. I was fascinated to learn about its Storytelling Benches and the Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse's longevity and dedication to children's play.

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

Readers will learn about opposites while highlighting different city scenes around Philadelphia that children would enjoy visiting. Most of the scenes/activities are free to visit and I envision families participating in these activities after reading this story. I hope that children will see themselves reflected in the illustrations/photographs and make real-world connections. I hope they feel the love of family no matter what type of family unit they are part of. Additionally, I hope this story honors and celebrates families, diversity, and Philadelphia. By using opposites to describe love, I hope one's definition of love is broadened.

Location: Country

United States

Location: State or Department

Colorado

Tell us more about you / your team

I am a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge. I participate in an in-person critique group and with an on-line critique partner. Additionally, I conduct weekly storytimes with children ages 18 months - 5 years old for my library.

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

8 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Ravyn Davis
Team

I like the idea of the epistolary form for a children's book. You included many aspects of the city's landmarks but I think I like the imagery in your writing the most. You were able to create these fun little moments where I could visualize the future illustrations. Good luck!

Photo of Ann Kelley
Team

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and wish of good luck! That makes me happy to hear that my words painted pictures.

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