My City Speaks
A young girl, who is visually impaired, finds much to celebrate as she explores the city she loves.
A young girl and her father spend a day in the city, her city, traveling to the places they go together: the playground, the community garden, the market, an outdoor concert. As they do, the girl describes what she senses in delightfully precise, poetic detail. Her city, she says, “rushes and stops, and waits and goes.” It “pitters and patters, and drips and drains.” It “echoes” and “trills,” and is both “smelly” and “sweet.” Her city also speaks, as it “dings and dongs, and rattles and roars.” And sometimes, maybe even some of the best times, it just listens.
Darren Lebeuf uses his keen observational skills as an award-winning photographer to poetically capture sensory experiences in this charming ode to city life. The rhythmic, lyrical text makes for an appealing read-aloud. Ashley Barron’s vividly hued cut-paper collage illustrations add compelling visual interest to the text’s descriptions. Though the main character is visually impaired, she travels around the city and enthusiastically enjoys its many offerings, and actively contributes to the lyrical bustle of city life by putting on a violin performance in the park. The author’s use of limited but evocative language can help children develop an aesthetic awareness and can serve as a perfect jumping-off point for children to use their senses to specifically describe, and appreciate, their own surroundings. The story and illustrations were reviewed by a blind sensitivity reader.
Darren Lebeuf is an award-winning photographer with a background in design and visual communication. He is the author of My Forest Is Green and My Ocean is Blue. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Ashley Barron is an award-winning illustrator who specializes in cut-paper collage. Her creations can be found in children's books, newspapers, set designs and shop windows. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
2022 - Schneider Family Book Award, American Library Association, Winner
2021 - First and Best, Toronto Public Library, Commended
2023 - IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities Award, IBBY Canada, Short-Listed
"A celebration of city life’s sounds, sensations, and faces." — Kirkus Reviews, 27 July, 2021
"It’s a sensory delight, this one." — Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, 07 October, 2021
"Though simple at first glance, My City Speaks is a nuanced and rich text that can be a great conversation starter on differently-abled people, the importance of paying attention, and the senses." — CM Magazine, 12 November, 2021
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