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CITY BEATS by S. Kelly Rammell


A Hip-Hoppy Pigeon Poem

by S. Kelly Rammell & illustrated by Jeanette Canyon

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-58469-076-3
Publisher: Dawn Publications

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)