|Keeping the city going|
Author: Floca, Brian
An ode to the essential workers who keep their cities going during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/01/21)
School Library Journal (06/01/21)
Booklist (+) (04/01/21)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/04/21)
The Hornbook (00/03/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/01/2021 *Starred Review* An ode to the city workers keeping New York City going during the COVID-19 pandemic, this picture book begins with a boy and girl peeking out of their apartment window. With lyrical text and exquisite, detailed illustrations, Floca reminds readers of the early days of the pandemic with an empty city street. Well, almost empty. A hint of movement in these opening scenes turns into a full-page spread with food deliverers on bikes. Of course, first responders—the fire department, police officers, ambulance drivers, and health care workers—are depicted prominently, but so too are the workers who suddenly become frontline service and care. The bus drivers, sanitation engineers, grocery-store workers, and those keeping phones and internet functioning so people can stay home for work and school. There’s even an apology to the mail and package deliverers as people sometimes bought things they didn’t need out of boredom. The text is light on many pages, allowing the dramatic illustrations to tell the story. The latter are made even more immediate as some of the workers look directly at readers, inviting them into the scenes. At the end, Floca returns to the apartment dwellers, who honor the workers each evening by cheering and banging pots. A moving tribute that remembers essential workers and community in a time of loss. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2021 PreS-Gr 2—A book from the first year of the pandemic. As children observe from their windows, "the voice of the city is low and the streets are almost empty." New York City is strangely quiet except for workers such as delivery trucks, taxi drivers, firefighters, and EMTs. Each evening, windows fill with people making noise to thank the workers and to say, "We are all still here and we are here together." Detailed color drawings depict the urban environment, its workers and their vehicles in full-page spreads with a few vignettes, alongside a matter-of-fact text. The postage carrier and the doctor gaze back at the reader, reinforcing the observational standpoint; these are snapshots of the essential workers who are "keeping the city going." An author's note provides further context. VERDICT A thoughtful book of gratitude for the essential workers with a nod to the unifying theme that we are #allinthistogether. An important title, it will open the door for discussion of the pandemic and its effects.—Ramarie Beaver, formerly at Plano P.L., TX - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.