Reviews for Country Kid, City Kid
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Spring
On alternating pages, Cummins contrasts Ben's country life with Jody's life in the city: e.g., Ben's school bus drives many miles on country roads, while Jody takes a crowded city bus to school. In a feel-good ending, they meet and become friends at Camp Eagle Ridge. Although the text is less a story than a listing of differences, the handsome illustrations bring the children and their environments to life. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Kirkus Reviews 2002 October #2
Cummins (Tomboy of the Air, 2001, etc.) gives us her take on the comparison of country life to city life in this typical, but cheerful, rendering. Readers follow the lives of Ben, who lives on a farm, and Jody, who lives in an apartment building, as a side-by-side description of each child's daily routine unfolds. When Ben wakes up he hears the sounds of birds and cows. When Jody wakes up she hears horns and sirens. Ben gets his mail at a mailbox down the road. Jody gets hers in the lobby of her apartment building--and so on. The author's simple language has an instructional feel and so do Rand's (Good Night, Hattie, My Dearie, My Dove, p. 345, etc.) skillfully detailed and literal watercolors. This combination comes off as a bit monotonous, but very accessible. What gives the narrative a nice twist is how Ben and Jody's lives intersect towards the end. Every summer Ben goes away to Camp Eagle Ridge. Then readers find out that Jody "is excited about her first time at Camp Eagle Ridge." The two meet at the camp, become friends, and afterwards Ben sends Jody a map of constellations he can see from his bedroom window. She sends him a city street map and marks her favorite places. Country life and city life seem as similar as they are different, but young readers might side with country life. Ben gets to cut down his own Christmas tree in the forest instead of buying it on the street like Jody. Ben also goes to Camp Eagle Ridge every year. What's more, he has a dog. There's something here for both kinds of kids to think about. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 October #4
Ben lives on a cattle farm and Jody lives in a melting-pot metropolis, but as Cummins (The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries) and Rand (Once Upon a Farm) see it, the ostensible differences in landscapes leave plenty of common ground. For example, each wakes up to noises outside the window. Ben "hears cows mooing and birds singing," while Jody "hears taxicab horns and fire truck sirens." The narrative continues to compare and contrast their everyday lives, until the final spreads, when the children meet at Camp Eagle Ridge and become fast friends. "Country kid, city kid-miles apart, but two of a kind," sums up Cummins, while Rand shows the two happily paddling a canoe together. Despite something of a dulling effect from the dyad structure and rather perfunctory treatment of Jody and Ben's friendship, this book possesses a vintage charm. The earnestly cheery, realistic watercolors focus on what may seem exotic to outsiders-Ben's chores tending cows, Jody and her mother's shopping at side-by-side Asian and Italian groceries; Ben's travel to a bookmobile stop, Jody's solo ride on a city bus. Youngsters will likely enjoy this welcoming approach to contrasting lifestyles. Ages 4-6. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2002 November
K-Gr 2-Ben lives on a farm with cows, horses, and his dog. Jody lives in the city surrounded by skyscrapers and crowded buses. Each spread shows Ben and his environment on the left and Jody and her surroundings on the right. The matter-of-fact text describes their daily activities: how they ride the bus to school, shop with a parent for groceries, play baseball, and pick up their mail. Near the end of the story, the two meet at Camp Eagle Ridge, become friends, and agree to keep in touch during the school year. While the rich watercolor art depicting these warm and nurturing families is lovely to look at, sometimes Rand's use of borders is inconsistent. Also, in one spread, Ben and Jody go to their respective public libraries. In each illustration, a "window" showing each child inside the building is superimposed on the background art; this detracts from the beauty of the drawings behind the windows. The book is less a story than a study in contrasts. The point is that the youngsters are not all that different; they are as Cummins says, "-miles apart but two of a kind."-Leslie Barban, Richland County Public Library, Columbia, SC Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.