Dynamic Book Duos: Hometown Pride

Please welcome authors Janelle Harper and Alyssa Reynoso Morris to Dynamic Book Duos – a blog featuring two books that pair together in a meaningful way along with educational activities to strengthen reading skills. This week’s pairing celebrates what makes communities special and hometown pride!

PERFECT PAIR: Hometown Pride!

My Block Looks Like written by Janelle Harper and illustrated by Frank Morrison and The Bronx is My Home written by Alyssa Reynoso-Morris and illustrated by Kim Holt are books brimming with hometown pride. Both help children to recognize and celebrate what makes their communities special.  These picture books celebrate the Bronx from everyday blocks and neighborhoods to iconic locations like The Bronx Zoo and Pelham Bay Park. My Block Looks Like is a fun and lyrical read-aloud full of style that captures the essence of the Bronx and The Bronx is My Home shouts out specific places that are the heartbeat of The Bronx.

Book 1: My Block Looks Like


“A lyrical and proud picture book that recognizes the beauty of the bodegas, subways, and playgrounds that characterize everyday life in the Bronx and pays homage to the ways that its residents have shaped pop culture through music, visual art, and dance. Perfect for fans of I Am Every Good Thing and Last Stop on Market Street, My Block Looks Like offers kids a reaffirming message to celebrate and uplift their communities in an energetic text that begs to be read aloud.”

Book 2: The Bronx is My Home

Welcome to The Bronx, New York! Discover the history, landscape, cuisines, cultures, and activities unique to the Bronx in this winning picture book celebration of hometown pride.

There’s only one place where you can see bodegas and businesses bustling on every street, taste the most delicious empanadas in the world, smell the salty sea air of Pelham Bay, and pet horses at the Bronx Equestrian Center. From sunrise to sunset, Santiago and Mami have many treasures to enjoy in their neighborhood on a beautiful Saturday, including colorful birds on the Siwanoy Trail and fresh cannolis on Arthur Avenue. This energetic and joyful family story offers both a journey through and a love letter to this special borough.


Activities for My Block Looks Like:

Activities for The Bronx is My Home:

Activities for Both Books:

1) Draw a map of your neighborhood.

Include the important places  (parks, playgrounds, schools, stores, etc.) that make your community special.

2) Use the title of one of the books to create an original poem:

First Line:  ________ is My Home     OR     My Block Looks Like

Second Line: What makes your community special?

Third Line: What kinds of things do you do in your community?

Fourth Line:  How does your community make you feel?

Last Line: “The coolest place I’ve ever been”

3) Explore your community through the 5 senses

Sight: What kinds of places, people or things do you see in your neighborhood?

Hearing: What kinds of sounds do you hear in your neighborhood? Is your neighborhood quiet or loud?

Smell: What kinds of scents do you smell in your neighborhood?

Taste: Are there any special foods, restaurants, bakeries, etc in your neighborhood? What do they taste like?

Touch: What kinds of things do you touch in your neighborhood? What does your neighborhood feel like?


Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw

Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw is an award-winning nonfiction children’s book author and former elementary special education teacher who is passionate about growing young minds. Suzanne’s first nonfiction picture book, I Campaigned for Ice Cream: A Boy’s Quest for Ice Cream Trucks, debuted in April 2019 from Warren Publishing. Her second book Mighty Mahi launched from Doodle and Peck Publishing in March 2022. Suzanne enjoys speaking to schools about writing, leadership, and how kids can make a difference in our world. The proud momma of two grown boys, Suzanne lives in Waterford, MI with her husband and furry writing companion Ziggy. When she’s not dreaming up new writing projects, you can find her kayaking on the lake, hiking the trail, practicing at the yoga studio, or comparing paint swatches at the local Sherwin Williams.

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