Song in the City

song in the city

From Daniel Bernstrom, the acclaimed author of One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree, comes a charming and irresistibly fun picture book about a young blind girl and her grandmother who experience the vibrant everyday music of their busy city.

A young girl, filled with the sounds of her beloved city, shares a song with her grandmother that changes the two forever. After helping Grandma realize that the city makes music as beautiful as the sounds they hear in church on Sunday morning, the two sit down and take in all the sounds of the city…together.

Song in the City bridges the gap between generations of music and family, while centering love, understanding, and joy.---from the publisher

40 pages                                  978-0063011120                               Ages 4-8

Keywords:  city living, grandmother, song, family life, multigenerational, African American and Black stories, Black Girl books, diversity, diverse books, blindness, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, African American author


Sunday morning in the city, and Emmelene is accompanying her Grandma Jean to church where there is a choir singing and trumpets blowing  and hand-clapping to hear and join in with. But Grandma Jean is getting cross because Emmelene is lagging behind because she is listening to the music of the city - the tap-tappa-tap, the yip-yippa-yip, the pitter-patter-drip and all the other sounds that her ears hear but her eyes can't see.  

And in church, when Grandma Jean's music makes little impression on Emmalene , Grandma gets even crankier and just doesn't understand what Emmelene can hear - although she does try. And then Emmalene shows her...

A long time ago, I read a poem about the sounds of night falling and it made such an impression on me, that now, mosquitoes willing, one of my favourite wind-down activities is to listen to the dark creep across our bushland home.  I have to admit that I'm a bit like Grandma Jean and haven't heard the music of the city so maybe I should sit in the park in town and close my eyes... Certainly, it is something we can do with our kids on a nice day - take them outside, let them lie on the grass in the sun and just listen to the music of the outdoors.  And if someone falls asleep, that's fine - either they needed the rest or the activity had the desired effect of putting them in the zone for a while.  

But, while this is a great book to inspire an awareness of our surroundings and be mindful in the moment, on a more practical level it is also one for exploring the concept of onomatopoeia as the sounds of the vehicles and other things that Emmelene hears are illustrated in a way that makes you see them as well as hear them.  Another opportunity to explore and experience our language.

Recommended by:  Barbara Braxton, Teacher Librarian, New South Wales  AUSTRALIA

See more of her recommendations:

500 Hats

The Bottom Shelf

Storybook Cushions http://

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