My City Speaks

h1 October 7th, 2021 by jules


I love the empowering opening spreads, pictured below, of Darren Lebeuf’s My City Speaks (Kids Can Press, September 2021), illustrated by Ashley Barron. A child and father head out for a day in the city: “This is our city,” we read, but then: “But this is my city.” The child, visually impaired and walking with a cane, moves through the beloved city, exploring and appreciating its movement, its sounds, all that grows in it, its smells, its tastes, its textures — and its buzzing, vibrant voice.

It’s a sensory delight, this one. And it’s filled with lots of bustling verbs: The city “rushes and stops”; “opens and shuts”; plays; slides; rattles; and speaks with tweets, drips, roars, meows, honks, chimes, sirens, and much more. These delicious words give the story texture. Barron’s vivid collage illustrations also sing with movement and energy.

The child navigates the city confidently — Dad always there, tending lovingly to the child. Where are they going? That’s a surprise for the final spread.

Below are some spreads from the book. Also pictured are some images from the brand-new Braille version of the book, created by Canada’s National Network for Equitable Library Service. Evidently, it’s rare for Braille editions to be available simultaneously with their print counterparts (if at all), so congrats to Kids Can Press — and lucky Canadian readers — on this edition.


Some Final Spreads:


“This is our city.”
(Click spread to enlarge)


“But this is my city.”
(Click spread to enlarge)



Two images above: Click either image to see spread in its entirety


(Click cover to enlarge)


Images from the Braille Version:


(Click image to enlarge)


(Click image to enlarge)


(Click image to enlarge)


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MY CITY SPEAKS. Text © 2021 by Darren Lebeuf. Illustrations © 2021 by Ashley Barron and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Kids Can Press, Toronto. Images from the Braille edition also reproduced by permission of the publisher.

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