TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour

The TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour is your opportunity to learn from and build personal connections with extraordinary book creators and their brand-new titles. Included in all Virtual Book Tour posts are original interviews with authors and illustrators, lesson plans, an activity designed for young people, and much more!

Welcome Andrea Curtis

Andrea Curtis on City Streets Are for People

In this post, we feature author Andrea Curtis whose previous titles include A Forest in the City. You can hear her speak about her new informational picture book, City Streets Are for People, illustrated by Emma FitzGerald, and try her “invitation to imagine” activity. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Andrea Curtis and the cover of City Streets Are for People

City Streets Are for People

  • Written by Andrea Curtis and illustrated by Emma FitzGerald
  • Published by Groundwood Books
  • Release date: May 1, 2022

Congested city streets are noisy and thick with cars and trucks, while pedestrians and cyclists are squeezed to the dangerous edges—but does it have to be this way? Imagine a city where we aren’t stuck in cars, where clean air makes it easier to breathe, and where transit is easy to access—and on time. Imagine a city where streets are for people! This fun, accessible and ultimately hopeful book in the ThinkCities series explores sustainable transportation around the globe, including electric vehicles, public transit, bicycles, walking, and more. It invites us to conjure up a city of the future, where these modes are all used together to create a place that is sustainable, healthy, accessible, and safe.

An interior image from City Streets Are for People, written by Andrea Curtis and illustrated by Emma FitzGerald, showing a busy network of city streets crowded with cars and trucks spewing exhaust, while pedestrians wear masks.
An interior image from City Streets Are for People, written by Andrea Curtis and illustrated by Emma FitzGerald, showing a light rail train curving above a cityscape at night.

Explore City Streets Are for People

Listen to Andrea Curtis talking with TeachingBooks about creating City Streets Are for People. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.

Invitation to Imagine

TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activity contributed by Andrea Curtis.

Imagination Activity with Andrea Curtis

Imagine you’re from another planet that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels, and you’ve crash-landed on Earth. Write a letter home describing what you see—the cars and buses, the bikes, and people on foot. Where have Earthlings gone wrong when it comes to how we move around the city? What did we get right?

Finish This Sentence . . . with Andrea Curtis

As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy Andrea Curtis’s response.

“While working on this book, I was surprised to learn…”

While working on this latest project, I was surprised to discover that kids in Copenhagen, Denmark (where bikes outnumber people!) learn to cycle in a “traffic playground.” It’s a safe, accessible, real playground, but it looks a bit like city streets. There are working street lights, lane markings on the road, and lots of opportunities for young riders to gain confidence and learn about how fun and easy it is to get around their city on a bicycle.

“I hope that my book encourages readers to think about…”

I hope that my book may encourage kids to think about about their own role in pushing for sustainable transportation options in their cities. Young people can have an impact on their communities by asking good questions about why things are the way they are, and if they have to be that way. For instance, no one wants to ride their bike on the edge of a busy, dangerous highway or street. Why can’t your city have protected bike lanes? What about offering public transit for free for people under 12 years old, like they do in Toronto, Canada, and Paris, France? Change can also start at home. Could your family make a commitment to leave the car at home—walking or riding or using a sustainable mobility device— whenever the distance you need to travel is short, say, less than a mile? 

Thank you!

To wrap up this Virtual Book Tour, we thank Andrea Curtis for signing a book for all of us.

The title page of City Streets Are for People, signed by the author, Andrea Curtis, with the message, "I like to move it!"

More Connections to Andrea Curtis and City Streets Are for People

Explore all of the titles featured in the TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour: one link with author interviews, lesson plans, activities, and more!

Author photo by Joanna Haughton. All other text and images are courtesy of Andrea Curtis, Emma FitzGerald, and Groundwood Books and may not be used without expressed written consent.

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