City Beats: A Hip-Hoppy Pigeon Poem


From a pigeon's-eye view, a city is a marvelous place, full of adventure and surprise! See and feel a pulsing city from the unique perspective of a pigeon! In the process, the reader gains a new appreciation for this special bird that has chosen to live in urban canyons all over the world.
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From a pigeon's-eye view, a city is a marvelous place, full of adventure and surprise! See and feel a pulsing city from the unique perspective of a pigeon! In the process, the reader gains a new appreciation for this special bird that has chosen to live in urban canyons all over the world.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The first page of this colorful book explains some facts and background information about pigeons, and then asks, "What do you think a day is like for a pigeon?" Musical hip-hop rhymes describe what pigeons may see, hear, and smell in the course of a day in the busy city. A window opening cutout on one page shows part of the illustration that is on the next page. The full pictures are beautiful and there are vivid illustrations of the pigeons in the city. The artwork is rather complex for young readers, but they may enjoy seeing all the colors and shapes. The rhythm of the verses would be great to read aloud, and the use of exciting words would be helpful in developing vocabulary. Many words are the sounds of the city such as, "Honk! Beep! Screech! Squeak!" At the end of the story, the pigeons sit sleeping on the windowsill. Readers will enjoy the rhythm of the verses, and the unique way of looking at pigeons and their lives in a city. 2006, Dawn Publications, and Ages 4 to 7.
—Vicki Foote
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Words swoop and soar and so do the feathered protagonists of City Beats: A Hip-Hoppy Pigeon Poem. Through playful imagery, young readers get a bird's eye view of a city replete with "juicy colors," "grinding gears" and "different shoes on different feet." Author S. Kelly Rammell uses onomatopoeia to wonderful effect and kids will want to make all the "screech," "hiss," "ker-chunk, "pound," and "tweet" sounds in this engaging text. Illustrator Jeanette Canyon conveys the color, energy and texture of the urban scene through stunning polymer clay art that follows two pigeons as they peck crumbs on a sidewalk, goggle at a parade and roost sleepily on a window sill at night.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A brief foreword gives some background information on pigeons, then asks, "What do you think a day is like for a pigeon?" The rest of the book is a hip-hop-style poem that answers that question, starting with sunrise and ending in the evening. The pigeons nibble doughnuts on the street, dodge taxis and construction equipment, and listen to music from clubs at night ("Rapping, rocking,/Rhythms, rhymes,/Bopping beats,/Streets alive"). Most of the text has a good rhythmic beat, although sometimes it strains for effect ("Grilling sizzles/Wheeling by,/Juicy colors,/Citrus sweets"). Overall, the pictures are more successful than the poetry. Created with polymer clay and photographed, the vibrant spreads show delicately feathered figures and urban backdrops in an array of rainbow colors. Children will enjoy their details and obvious technical skill (although the pictures lack the grit and depth that would make a more authentic look). An arched-window cutout appears throughout, framing scenes and adding an element of surprise. It's great to encourage kids' interest in what so many consider an unlovable creature, and larger libraries may want to add this interesting title.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Constructed from zillions of small polymer clay pellets in every imaginable hue, Canyon's illustrations create dizzying, very close-up, pigeon's-eye city views for which Rammell's short, similarly semi-abstract verses provide well-tuned accompaniment. Wondering what pigeons see as they "feel the city beats," the poet veers in frequently changing cadences from concrete observations of "different shoes on different feet" to straight sound effects: "Screech! Hiss! / Pop! Pound! / Rat-a-tat-tat! / Ka-thunk-ka-thunk!" The verses float opposite ornate window frames that provide a glimpse "outside"-and also turn out to be large die-cut rectangles, so that with each turn of the page the scene bursts into full-bleed glory while the already-read lines show through. More generic in locale, but similar in visual energy to Robert Neubecker's Wow! City! (2004), this flight will send young audiences fluttering and spinning through their own urban visions. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584690771
  • Publisher: Dawn Publications
  • Publication date: 3/1/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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