Keeping the City Going (Hardcover)
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We are here at home now, watching the world through our windows. Outside we see the city we know, but not as we’ve seen it before. The once hustling and bustling streets are empty. Well, almost empty. Around the city there are still people, some, out and about. These are the people keeping us safe. Keeping us healthy. Keeping our mail and our food delivered. Keeping our grocery stores stocked. Keeping the whole city going. Brian Floca speaks for us all in this stirring homage to all the essential workers who keep the essentials operating so the rest of us can do our part by sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brian Floca is the author and illustrator of the acclaimed picture books Locomotive, winner of the Caldecott Medal and a New York Times bestseller; Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11; and Lightship, each a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book. He is the illustrator of numerous additional books, including Avi’s Poppy series. You can visit him online at BrianFloca.com.
— Kirkus Reviews, STARRED
Caldecott winner Floca presents a love letter to New York City, and its essential workers, during COVID-19. Motion-filled vignettes alternate with expansive spreads to help pace the narrative and hold readers’ attention. The text is true to events but un-alarmist, with restrained lyricism that underscores unity: “We hear the city say to us—and we say back to the city—that we are still here, and we are here together.”
— Horn Book Magazine
With his signature affection for architecture and keen sense of urban space, Caldecott Medalist Floca pays tribute to the frontline workers helping to make New York City run during the pandemic. Floca brings precision and expert draftsmanship to renderings of working vehicles, centering the heroes working to get supplies out and save lives, and to the equipment that helps them do it.
— Publishers Weekly *STARRED REVIEW*
An ode to the city workers keeping New York City going during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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. A moving tribute that remembers essential workers and community in a time of loss.
— Booklist STARRED Review
The ragged-right prose is compact yet gentle, focusing on the cultural rhythm and infrastructure of pandemic life without talking about COVID itself, adding character with small details about things like non-essential mail orders and insight into the importance of even pandemic-altered human contact. Line and watercolor illustrations are trim and careful, with the usual Floca tendency toward technical detail adding intricate majesty to garbage trucks and subway trains. Kids outside of New York may not be familiar with the evening applause custom, but they’ll appreciate the focus on essential work and reflection of their daily norms of online life and face-mask wearing.
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
— School Library Journal