PW10 Orca US Logo

Please log in to your Orca Book Publishers account.
Once logged in, your shopping cart will be saved if you need to leave the site before completing checkout. Your shipping addresses and discount codes will also be saved for future visits.

Search Orca Book Publishers
  • An African Alphabet
  • Wolf Island

City Kids
Street and skyscraper rhymes
By author: X.J. Kennedy   Illustrated by: Phillippe Béha
Selling Points: city life, diversity, poetry
Publisher: Tradewind Books
Pub Date: Sep/01/2010
Pages: 96
Picture Book
Price:  $17.95
Bookmark and Share

     Like taxis at curbside
     they're waiting for hire.
     Does nobody need them
     to put out a fire?

     A hydrant-like doorman
     in red, buttoned up,
     regards with suspicion
     an innocent pup.

     On days when it heatwaves
     us kids scamper out
     in swimsuits. Then hydrants
     unscrew, spurt, and spout.

From street hockey to baguette duels, award-winning poet X.J. Kennedy captures what it means to be a kid in a city full of zany characters and urban adventures waiting to happen. Philippe Béha's whimsical illustrations add delight to these lighthearted rhymes. These poems are set in cities around the world from London to Toronto to New York. Funny and poignant, these stories should amuse and delight children and teachers alike.
Poetry Foundation - August 1, 2011
"A beautifully designed book of clever and mischievous verse for 8-12 year-olds from a virtuoso of children's (and adult) poetry. The much-laureled Kennedy is at his best in this roundup of new and older poems that celebrate the joys and pitfalls of growing up urban the world over."
Library Media Connection - March 1, 2011
"There is plenty of child-appeal and perspective, as well as end rhymes, internal rhymes, and alliteration to catch the fancy of young listeners. The layout sets each poem opposite boldly outlined images that channel the animated whimsy and unexpected colors of Chagall....Recommended."
Publishers Weekly - September 1, 2010
"The urban world is examined from every angle in this lively collection of verse about city life…Béha's illustrations have a naïf, crayon-scrawled exuberance, and most match the upbeat tone of Kennedy's verse."
Midwest Book Review - July 1, 2010
"An eclectic collection of poems about life for kids in a vibrant city…Jovial, whimsical rainbow illustrations and zany printed titles add to the bounce and verve of City Kids…Not just for kids, but for everyone who loves being alive."
Quill & Quire - May 1, 2010
"Kennedy is thought-provoking without being obscure. Although much of his work is light and whimsical, he shows a willingness to take on more serious subject matter...The book also benefits considerably from Montrealer Philippe Béha’s colourful, stylized illustrations, which interpret the work sensitively and creatively."
CM Magazine - April 9, 2010
"Beha's lively and vibrant illustrations of Kennedy's short poems have just the right amount of quirkiness to enhance the poet's sense of fun…A welcome addition to poetry collections in the elementary school library as well as a good choice for parents and grandparents who enjoy reading poems to small listeners…Highly recommended."
Resource Links - April 1, 2010
"Captures the scenes and experience of urban life, via a series of evocative poems and illustrations...It is well written and expressed and invites children to understand the urban environment through a wide variety of images...A great anthology for the urban classroom, as it celebrates the life and culture of city kids."


Resource Links "The Year's Best", commended  CA  2010
Children’s Poet Laureate Monthly Book Picks, commended  US  2011
Lion and the Unicorn Award nominee, short-listed  US  2011

Your Cart



Key Features:
Grades K-3
Beautifully illustrated
Engaging characters
Award-winning authors
Exciting plots

Teaching Resources:
Teachers' guides available for many titles

Picturebook Audio & Book Collection

Discounts Available for:

See the full list of Orca Picturebooks.