Author: Darren Lebeuf and Ashley Barron | Themes: city life, diversity
Experience The City With Your Ears
Take a tour of sounds in My City Speaks by Darren Lebeuf and Ashley Barron. A little girl, who is visually impaired, steps out the front door of her home with her father. She introduces us to her city.
A Tour of Her City
There are others walking around too and it’s also their city, the narrator explains, but this tour we are about to go on, is a tour of her city. We are hearing about the sounds and smells that make up the narrator’s city.
“My city opens and shuts. It buzzes and tweets and flocks.”My City Speaks by Darren Lebeuf and Ashley Barron
The girl and her father cross streets and meander past skyscrapers and community gardens. They sit and relax in the park, stop to taste gelato and ride the subway train.
During the whole journey we are learning about the things the narrator experiences through her senses. Her city is familiar and she knows it well. She wants us to experience it the same way.
“It pitters and patters and drips and drains. It dings and songs and rattles and roars.”My City Speaks by Darren Lebeuf and Ashley Barron
At the end of the journey, the father and daughter end up at a bandshell in the park. Here, the little girl performs a violin recital to a small crowd. Now her city has the chance to stop and listen to her.
The cut-paper collage illustrations are colourful and incredibly detailed. I always enjoy seeing this type of artwork in picture books. It makes a beautiful effect and is very appealing to young readers too.
I really appreciate the message in this story and it can help open a dialogue with your child about people with different abilities. For example, they may notice and ask about the little girl’s white cane. It also opens the door to talk to children about how others experience the world. I would definitely recommend this book for you shelf!
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