When a City Leans Against the Sky

Overview

This collection of poems celebrates the many "lives" of a city. Allan De Fina's insightful observations capture the ambience and diversity of a city's sights, sounds, and cultural mixes. The everyday becomes extraordinary through momentary pauses, showing that life in the city can be an experience, not just an existence. Illustrator Ken Condon captures these glimpses through simple yet expressive black-and-white drawings.

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Overview

This collection of poems celebrates the many "lives" of a city. Allan De Fina's insightful observations capture the ambience and diversity of a city's sights, sounds, and cultural mixes. The everyday becomes extraordinary through momentary pauses, showing that life in the city can be an experience, not just an existence. Illustrator Ken Condon captures these glimpses through simple yet expressive black-and-white drawings.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
On a snow-covered city street " a solitary taxi cab / opens a zipper / up the avenue." The deft pen of the poet draws a vivid picture of the visual delights and curious sights of the city. Children should enjoy "Skyscraper Climber" in which they are instructed on how to climb to the top of the skyscraper. "Straddle its / shadow / down sidewalk and street." In several of the poems ordinary city scenes are transformed into something a bit different by taking an unusual point of view. "Backs" is the title of one poem about riding in an elevator, on an escalator or walking along a city street, because the view, especially to children, may often be of backs. A revolving door is imagined to be a "hungry carnivore" busily gulping up those who enter. The hot dog vendor, the cat on the fire escape and the ferry "scraping into the hollow / of the fog" are all part of the picture of a city. Youngsters with an interest in writing poetry will gain insight from this book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563971372
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1997
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.49 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Allan De Fina is an assistant professor in the Department of Literacy Education at Jersey City State College. A former columnist for Instructor magazine's "Poetry Pages," he lives in West New York, New Jersey.

Ken Condon is the illustrator of Sky Scrape, City Scape: Poems of City Life, selected by Jane Yolen. He lives in Ashfield, Massachusetts.

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