Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2009. CITY I LOVE. Ill. by Marcellus Hall. New York: Abrams. ISBN 9780810983274 [Suggested Grade Levels K- 5]
Here’s a playful cityscape of sights, sounds, and smells from places around the world, beginning with a city anthem and ending with a kind of city lullaby. In between, we celebrate city summers and city winters, city skyscrapers and big bridges, city sounds and city lights, taxis and subways, street vendors and big bridges, and city zoos and merry-go-rounds. The first person voice is strong and immediate and the language is spare, rhythmic and lyrical. Plus, a backpack-carrying brown dog and a blue Parisian pigeon appear on each page, having adventures that young readers will pick up on before the grownups do. The end pages show a world map with 18 cities labeled across multiple continents. Upon close examination, one sees that each of these cities is the locale for one of the poems. Identifying which is which is so fun!
Start with the map. Identify each of the cities (and its country and continent). Challenge the kids to figure out which poem is set in which city. Use the poem references and landmarks pictured. Challenge the kids to work in pairs or as a group to compose a poem about THEIR city or town, noting the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, landmarks, and feelings that the kids associate with their homeplace. Create a collage illustration or mural to go with the poem.
More place-based poetry anthologies collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins:
GOT GEOGRAPHY! ISBN 978-0060556013
MY AMERICA: A POETRY ATLAS OF THE UNITED STATES. ISBN 978-0689812477
HOME TO ME: POEMS ACROSS AMERICA. ISBN 978-0439560696
By Sylvia M. Vardell