The Children's Bookshelf: Hidden City

May 7, 2018

HIDDEN CITY: Poems of Urban Wildlife written by Sarah Grace Tuttle and illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford is a beautifully produced book for young readers. The illustrations and poems are a tribute to the heartiness of plant and animal wildlife within the cityscape.

 

The kinetic activity comes vividly alive in this book with dandelions growing, moss multiplying, inch worms digging and mushrooms appearing overnight all swollen from the rain.

 

There is organization to these activities that assure the reader that all is well. The poem “Community Garden” is an example.

“An empty lot has

grown over with

wild tangles of grass and aster,

bright dandelions,

wood sorrel, clover.

Now

bees and butterflies feast on nectar

ants build

snails crawl

and garden snakes sun themselves

by the graffitied wall.”

 

There are over two dozen beautifully- written poems in celebration of the hidden life found in the cityscape. The illustrations rendered in collage are rich in colors, details and good feelings. The picture for the poem “Sunflower Buffet” spreads sunshine across a double page illustration where everything from ants and flies to sparrows and squirrels feast upon the flower.

There is also an interesting section in the back of this book entitled Fun Facts About the Wildlife In These Poems.

 

Hidden City: Poems of Urban Wildlife written by Sarah Grace Tuttle and illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford is an engaging picture book for children 4-8 years of age (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2018).