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City Green Hardcover – August 15, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

One girl's motivation and cheery attitude buoys this picture book about urban renewal and community action. Young Marcy is saddened after the city condemns and demolishes a building in her neighborhood. "Now this block looks like a big smile with one tooth missing," she laments. But as springtime arrives, Marcy's thoughts turn to gardens and flowers. She and her neighbor Miss Rosa decide to clean up the lot and plant seeds there. Soon nearly everyone on the street joins in, donating time, energy and supplies to create a lush green oasis. Even crabby Old Man Hammer eventually warms up to the new look. DiSalvo-Ryan's ( Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen ) well-paced text imparts a wealth of information and emotion without sentimentalizing or preaching. The tone of Marcy's narration is occasionally poignant and always very childlike. Watercolor-and-pencil vignettes depict an overwhelmingly brown city landscape enlivened by a colorfully clad cast of ethnically diverse neighbors and, finally, a bountiful rainbow of plants. The kindly expressions of the various gardeners provide added warmth, making DiSalvo-Ryan's fictional block a nice place to visit. A helpful page of instructions for starting a community garden is also included. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-There is a garbage-filled, vacant lot on the street where Marcy lives. Instead of growing flowers in coffee cans like they usually do each spring, she and her friend Miss Rosa decide to plant a garden there. Old Man Hammer, who used to live in the building that was torn down, believes that they're getting their hopes up for nothing, but Marcy and Miss Rosa lease the spot from the city. Their enthusiasm and energy spread and everyone in the neighborhood joins together to create an urban oasis. Even Old Man Hammer sneaks into it at night and secretly plants seeds that grow into bright sunflowers. This is a pleasant, positive story of cooperation that features multiethnic characters. DiSalvo-Ryan's double-page illustrations are rendered in watercolors, pencil, and crayons. Although the story is a bit predictable-it is obvious that Old Man Hammer will eventually join in the community spirit-the book is genuinely warm and will appeal to children.
Mary Rinato Berman, New York Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (August 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068812786X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688127862
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

DyAnne DiSalvo is an American artist and author of children's literature, best known for her string of books which focus on building better communities, including City Green, Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen and Grandpa's Corner Store.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By OC on March 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful story about a little girl who works with her neighbors to turn a vacant lot into a garden. Over the course of the story the grumpy old man changes because of the garden. It's a great story, high readability for middle to end third grade students on grade level.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
City Green

By: DyAnne DisSalvo-Ryan

This is my advice helping people is very nice. This story takes place

outside in an empty lot in a city. The characters are Old Man Hammer, Miss. Rosa, and a little girl. The girl and Miss Rosa start a garden in the lot, plant flowers, and pick up trash. The lot was empty but Old Man Hammer wouldn't let them lease it. In the end they end up starting the garden and planting flowers. Also in the end some sunflowers grew but none of them planted the sunflowers. I think that Old Man Hammer planted them. I liked this book. I recommend this book to people who like helping other people. I like this because it shows that you can help your community. I would give this book four stars. The message of this book is never stop trying. If you like doing

good things for your community than read this book.

By: Kyle
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love sharing this book with my 2nd graders because it shows the actual process of an abandoned lot turning into a beautiful community garden when a young girl engages the support of her neighbors. And there is the opportunity for them to empathize with the grumpy "old man hammer" when they understand why he is unhappy. Good story!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
ALL THE BOOKS I'VE ORDERED HAVE BEEN FANTASTIC!! AFTER TEACHING FOR 50 YEARS I'M RETIRED AND TUTOR STUDENTS IN MY HOME . ANYONE NEEDING HELP IS WELCOME (FREE OF CHARGE). YOUR BOOKS HAVE BEEN SUPER!!!!!! THE COMPREHENSION WORKBOOKS HAVE BEEN SO VALUABLE AND I ESPECIALY RECCOMMEND UNCLE WILLIE AND THE SOUP KITCHEN BY DYANE DISALVO-RYAN AND CITY GREEN BY DYANNE DISALVO-RYAN FOR INTERESTING READING. BEFORE LONG THE STUDENTS HAVE BLOSSOMED INTO SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS! PHYLLIS MARCUS
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