An openly didactic exploration of the concept of a neighborhood and its community helpers, part of the useful, if unsubtle I See I Learn series.
Percy just wants to go to the park and play, but first, he and his dad have to distribute posters to “community helpers” for the Neighborhood Fun Run. “A community is a place where people live and work together,” says his father. “A neighborhood is the part of the community nearest to you.” Small circular insets on the lower left of each spread highlight a bird’s-eye/map view of each building they visit (these can be matched to the large neighborhood map on the front endpapers), while a square on the lower right isolates and labels each community helper: Dr. Russo, Firefighter Bates, Officer Ruiz and Mr. Kim, the librarian. (Despite the multicultural names, all the characters are anthropomorphized animals, though Dr. Russo and Officer Ruiz are both apparently women.) In a few brief sentences, readers learn about the basic job of each community helper before Percy finally gets to the park so he can practice for the Fun Run with his friends, all of whom are part of his community. Backmatter includes a visual web of community helpers, some questions to recall and reinforce the lesson, and an author’s note about visual learning.
Pair with Paulette Bourgeois’ In My Neighborhood series for a more in-depth look at some specific community helpers. (Picture book. 2-5)