ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: My City Speaks by Darren Lebeuf, Illustrated by Ashley Barron

Thank you to Kids Can Press and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! My City Speaks goes on sale September 7, 2021.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Picture Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: A young girl, who is visually impaired, finds much to celebrate as she explores the city she loves. A young girl and her father spend a day in the city, her city, traveling to the places they go together: the playground, the community garden, the market, an outdoor concert.

As they do, the girl describes what she senses in delightfully precise, poetic detail. Her city, she says, “rushes and stops, and waits and goes.” It “pitters and patters, and drips and drains.” It “echoes” and “trills,” and is both “smelly” and “sweet.” Her city also speaks, as it “dings and dongs, and rattles and roars.” And sometimes, maybe even some of the best times, it just listens.

Darren Lebeuf uses his keen observational skills as an award-winning photographer to poetically capture sensory experiences in this charming ode to city life. The rhythmic, lyrical text makes for an appealing read-aloud.

Ashley Barron’s vividly hued cut-paper collage illustrations add compelling visual interest to the text’s descriptions.

Though the main character is visually impaired, she travels around the city and enthusiastically enjoys its many offerings, and actively contributes to the lyrical bustle of city life by putting on a violin performance in the park.

The author’s use of limited but evocative language can help children develop an aesthetic awareness and can serve as a perfect jumping-off point for children to use their senses to specifically describe, and appreciate, their own surroundings. The story and illustrations were reviewed by a blind sensitivity reader.


My Review: I loved this story! As the main character brings the reader along on her commute through the city she lives in, she explains what her city is like despite her limited vision. The cover is beautiful and the cut-paper collage of illustrations stunning! It made the story come alive. I could gaze at the illustrations all day. My City Speaks is a must-read, lyrical and visually pleasing story.

3 replies on “ARC Review: My City Speaks by Darren Lebeuf, Illustrated by Ashley Barron”

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