City I Love

City I Love

by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Marcellus Hall

City I Love sparkles like the lights in Times Square! Featuring eighteen poems that guide the reader on an international tour—from New York to San Francisco, London to Tokyo, and beyond—this exuberant collection is the perfect read-aloud for city kids, aspiring world travelers, and adventurous spirits everywhere.
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City I Love sparkles like the lights in Times Square! Featuring eighteen poems that guide the reader on an international tour—from New York to San Francisco, London to Tokyo, and beyond—this exuberant collection is the perfect read-aloud for city kids, aspiring world travelers, and adventurous spirits everywhere.
Beloved children’s poet Lee Bennett Hopkins and New Yorker artist Marcellus Hall, an exciting children’s book newcomer, have crafted an extraordinary urban-themed collection that celebrates the beauty, diversity, energy, architecture, and excitement of city life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This joyful poetry collection celebrating urban life combines Hopkins's (Behind the Museum Door) affectionate odes (a mix of previously published and new poems) with Hall's (Because You Are My Baby) engaging watercolors, which widen the book's perspective by presenting images of famous cities all over the world. The captivating visual story line features an appealing, insouciant brown dog who travels the world with his backpack and a bluebird. Whether trudging through waist-deep snow in Moscow or riding on a crowded subway in Mexico City, both characters model the reader's wonder at the variety of costumes, music, people and sights found across the globe. Hopkins's reflective and sometimes humorous poems move through diverse aspects of life in the city-from skyscrapers (workers "balance on beams/ dangle on derricks/ glide on girders/ sway on concrete slabs") and crowded streets to negotiating the weather ("You stand/ on a corner/ shouting:/ 'Taxi!'/ 'Taxi!'/ knowing/ deep/ inside/ taxi cabs/ never/ stop/ on/ rainy/ days"). Hopkins grounds the book with heartwarming particularities while Hall's lively paintings conjure a world that should intrigue young travelers. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)

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Children's Literature - Tracy Koretsky
This special title would make a wonderful gift from its eye-grabbing dust-jacketed cover guaranteed to draw the urbane adult's attention, to its witty and delight-filled pages meant to be lingered over and shared. Illustrator Marcellus Hall has done covers for The New Yorker and the aesthetic is instantly recognizable. In this, his second book, he is paired with one of the 20th century's leading children's book authors, Lee Bennett Hopkins. Amongst Mr. Hopkins's many achievements are his important anthologies; he is an absolute authority on poetry for children and here, he shares his own. These poems do not sing in the sense that Silverstein's or Seuss's do; these are not wonderful poems for reading aloud. Rather, they are superb poems for reading with. Each provides a little device, for example, a repetition, perhaps with some phonic change, or a little challenge, such as cascading letters, or dialogue: just enough for a new reader to have fun unlocking. Adults will enjoy helping children understand all the warmly humorous details and vignettes captured in the charming illustrations depicting a dog with a backpack and a little blue bird who visit together all the great cities of the world. However, because it has no plot, a child may not want to sit through the whole book. Savor these. Books like this don't come along every day. Reviewer: Tracy Koretsky
School Library Journal

K-Gr 6

A backpack-toting, humble hound with wanderlust and a winged companion tour several of the world's cities. Hopkins's 18 poems observe skyscrapers, hot-dog vendors, subways, taxis, bridges, bright lights, and the diversity of people and pigeons. Most of the poems span a fully illustrated spread, and youngsters will have fun finding the dog and bird on each one. Hopkins honors children's lyrical sense of music ("Sing a song of cities/if you do,/Cities will sing back/to you") and earnest astonishment ("Look!/Up there!/High up there/where/men and women/building the new skyscraper/balance on beams/dangle on derricks/glide on girders...Wondrous!"). In Paris, a mother pigeon pleads with the traffic to be quiet: "Please/city/have/some/pity./Promise me/not/ one/more/beep?/My newborn/pigeons/need/their/sleep." These polished poems are equally matched by Hall's graphic-style cartoons, which offer many added layers of narrative delight as well as beautiful colors and an eye-catching sense of design. The watercolor endpapers show a map with major cities highlighted in the poems. The illustrations have a cosmopolitan look, a little French with a splash of nostalgia. They are filled with construction-buildings, bridges, pyramids-a kind of hats-off to the magnificence of the world. This book is really special, a global tour de force.-Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA

Kirkus Reviews
In 18 very short poems, Hopkins returns to one of his favorite subjects, adopting a child's voice (or once a mother pigeon's) to express deep affection for city life, sights, buildings, noises, subways, entertainments and seasons. Reminiscent of Marc Simont's art but with a more sinuous, energetic line, Hall's watercolor urban scenes capture the big city's scale while depicting both its bustle and its quieter corners. Tucking in identifiable landmarks or the occasional non-Roman sign, he takes a backpack-toting canine tourist and a small blue bird from San Francisco to Cairo, New Orleans to London, and leaves them at last on a building top, gazing sleepily out onto a generic moonlit skyline. Though ten of the selections were previously published in some form, their overall simplicity lends each an enduring freshness: "Sing a song of cities. / If you do, / Cities will sing back / to you." Endpaper maps identify the cities depicted, though a key to assist untraveled children in the game is absent. (Picture book/poetry. 7-10)

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Product Details

Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 10.70(h) x 1.90(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Lee Bennett Hopkins has written and edited numerous celebrated poetry collections, including Behind the Museum Door, My America, and Home to Me. He lives in Cape Coral, Florida. Marcellus Hall has created artwork for many magazines, including the New Yorker and Time. He is also the illustrator of Because You Are My Baby. City I Love is his second book for children. Raised in Minneapolis, he now lives in New York City.

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