My regular travels to Manhattan's Lower East Side offer a dazzling array of sights. I take the F or M subway to Essex and Delancey Streets. Stepping off the train, I instantly note that the pace is more relaxed: mothers pushing baby carriages, children holding hands with parents near the school, clusters of teens willing to offer directions when I get lost. I love visiting this neighborhood!
Sidewalk Flowers by JoArno Lawson illustrated by Sydney Smith and Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña illustrated by Christian Robinson are joyous celebrations of urban neighborhoods.
Sidewalk Flowers invites readers to join a charming young girl dressed in a red coat as she explores the wonders of her neighborhood. What may appear colorless and drab to others is filled with wonders and delights when viewed through her eyes. She finds a way to share the beauty she finds in the city. Just follow the red hood.
Each week CJ and grandmother take the bus across town. It is grandmother who opens CJ's eyes to the wonders of his surroundings. With her help, he begins to see and understand the beauty of this neighborhood and learns to appreciate and serve those in his community. Follow the red umbrella across town for a warm and wonderful exploration.
*Matt De La Peña
I like talking about books and interesting ideas. I like thinking about how books affect my life. Not particularly interested in giving out stars or in rating books.