Perfect Picture Book Friday – Among the Buildings that Touch the Sky

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday . It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because the book is non-fiction and has some great information about an important and historical American city, Philadelphia.

Among the Buildings that Touch the Sky

By Elaine A. Kelly and Jean R. Carl

Illustrated by Cathleen L. Noone

24 pages – ages 4+

Published by Kelcity Books in 2009

Theme/Topic – History / Culture

Opening and Synopsis – “Philadelphia, the city so old. Philadelphia, where history is told. The places you go, the things you see, Are all a part of our history.”

This picture book talks about the many things to do and places to see in Philadelphia. It shows historical sights like the Liberty Bell and Betsy Ross’ house and cultural things like the Mummers and Philly cheesesteaks! It is a great introduction to what makes Philadelphia special. **Note** for those of you who don’t know what a mummer is…

The Mummers parade on New Years Day is a lot of fun (these aren’t pictures from the book)!

Why I liked this book –  I liked this book because of the simple but colorful illustrations, the rhyme of the story and the history mentioned. I liked that the book is non-fiction. I am a fan of history and learning about cultures and I think it is important to have kids learn about different places in the world (and, well, I am favoring this book because I am from right outside Philadelphia 😉 ). I think the book is a great read-aloud and parents and kids can discover the great things about Philly!

Activities and Resources – Parents could get their kids a world map and pick a city or country to learn about. They can go online or to the library and find out information about the place they chose. Put a pin in the map for every place you learn about to keep track of where in the world you studied. My mom also suggested Google Earth (good idea mom). With Google Earth you can go anywhere in the world and see what it looks like. I also think parents could take their kids to a historic site near them to learn even more about the place where they live. What great historic sites are around you that you’ve NEVER visited?

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE!

Categories: Age 1-5, Age 6-9

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31 replies

  1. I am debating whether or not to put historical facts in my picture book about Paris. It is great to show others who are unfamiliar all that is great in the world.

  2. This looks like a great book, Erik. And you know, it got me to thinking… I don’t think I’ve actually ever been to Philadelphia! There is so much history there, it is definitely a place I should visit! Ah, well… one of these days! I love getting good non-fiction picture books on the list, so thanks for this one, and I think your suggested activities sound great 🙂

    • Thank you! I think Philadelphia is fun. The art museum and the Franklin Institute are great places. We just went to the National Constitution Center and Independence Hall this year. I am happy you like the book I picked!

  3. Erik, wonderful selection! I’ve already learned a lot about Philadelphia, through your review. Have just been in and out of the city and have never spent time there. I think kids would really enjoy this non-fiction book. Your activities are very good. Wasn’t familiar with Google Earth. Will have to look it up. Great review!

  4. This sounds like such a good book — and I like that it’s written in an approachable manner, not simply as dry facts. Your activities are great, too. I’d never thought of using Google Earth that way, and I also like that you extend the activities to one’s home city/town/place, not just to the subject of the book, Philadelphia.

    Thanks, Erik!

  5. Excellent activities — I love Google Earth! Honestly, I haven’t read too many non-fiction picture books, but this sparked my curiosity to check out more in the genre. (I went to Philly on a family trip way back when — I remember touching the Liberty Bell!)

  6. This is an excellent book and review Erik! When ever my husband and I travel overseas, (which is often) we always look up books about where we are going, as well as google it. So we are very familiar with the cities, and countries when we are touring around or just going it by ourselves. Love this, thanks Erik. (not been to Philadelphia, yet)

  7. Great review of a nonfiction picture book. It is not easy to make a nonfiction picture book interesting and appealing to young readers. Sounds like this one has managed to do so. Now I want to go to Philadelphia too!!

  8. I really enjoy non fiction books, Eric, and I have been to Philly! I am with Darlene, this sounds to be a very entertaining NF book. I do know their cheesesteaks but had never heard of the mummers. Google Earth is a great idea!

  9. Thanks for your selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday. It sounds valuable on many fronts not just the historical one. It sounds like it is in ryhme which is hard but always fun to read.

    I visited Philly last year on the way to NY city and blogged about it. I loved it and missed the whole thing about the mummers. Thanks for the photos by the way. It made your review that much more entertaining and educational. Thanks also for the google earth idea and link. I’ll have fun with that. 🙂

  10. Just an FYI. When I linked up to google earth on your site instead of linking me up there I ended up on Amazon with a title of “Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula” a free give away. Thought you’d like to know.

  11. Yes, I would also love the book if it was from my area too. It’s always difficult finding nonfiction books that look interesting. It also seems that it has a rhyme to it. Great activity ideas too!

  12. This sounds like a really good book Erik! I like your ideas for activities. We have two huge poster maps on our wall. One of the US and one of the world. We use it quite frequently. A fun thing to do for us is when we hear a place mentioned in a movie, we will look for it on the map. And sometimes Wikipedia the place also.

    A fun place that I would really like visit near where I live is the Mammoth site in the Black Hills. I have heard it is really cool. As a student of Anthropology/archaeology I would also like to visit a Native American archaeological dig site and attend a Pow Wow.

    I like books that rhyme too 🙂 Have a great day!

  13. I really like the beginning lines. It makes it sound like a fun non-fiction book. We’ve never visited this city. It’s always fun to know we can visit through a book.


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