Kid Cities

Last Friday, we asked kids to draw cities, specifically, we asked:

Draw a picture of your city. It can be an actual city or a city in your head. It can have tall buildings or enormous robotic igloos or huge caves crawling with three-headed elephants. Show us your city and the people (or creatures) who live there, and tell us what your city is called.

As usual, we got some wonderful responses.

From Emily B in Tulsa, we got this amazing drawing of Joshua Town. Rather than describe the wonders of this miraculous city, I encourage you to read the notes below, apparently a faithful transcription by Emily’s mom Cathy. It’s pretty great stuff. I love how the toys in Joshua Town sound a lot like Japanese rice dishes.

Next up, from Tyler N. we have Tyler Village, “a city where all the people are reading books.” Sounds like my kind of place.

And from Spencer N, ‘Food Falling from the Sky City,’ a riff on his recent favorite book, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. His city is raining orange juice, hot dogs, noodles, and donuts!”

I can’t decide whether I’d rather live in a city where everyone reads books or a city where donuts fall from the sky. Maybe there is a city somewhere were both of these things are true?

Moving on, we have this drawing from Joe L. Joe’s city, is called…drumroll…Joe City.

Here’s what his mom had to say about Joe City.

There are tall (window-filled) buildings with chimneys
and pointy churches with clock on the outside.
The sun (at the top corner) is shining.
Warm puffs coming out of the chimney.

There are 3 different kinds of people live there.
Brown, Green, and Pink.  They wear hats.
They seem to have smiles on their faces.

The building on the left has a swimming place on the
second floor.  You can fly in with a star in your hand.

I’ve always wondered what the secret to getting to swim in those second floor swimming pools was. Now I know.

From Lena P, we have”Painter City (Where Robots Live). According to Lena’s mom:

The robots push the buttons (yellow dots in the upper left-hand corner) and shoot to Texas and Florida and then come back to make paint for everyone. You can’t see the robots because they’re inside the buildings or in Texas or Florida.”

I am delighted by the dramatic non-specificity of the robots’ locations. They are hidden in buildings in either Texas or Florida. It could be either. Take your pick. I am also delighted by the wonderful textures and colors of Lena’s painting.

Next, we have drawings from mom/daughter Jessica and Calli. According to Jessica:

Calli refused to draw her city unless I helped, so we compromised by each drawing our own cities. Mine was going to be a city for aliens, but my alien looked like a bug, so I just went with that. Calli was very concerned about what kind of bug the green one in the foreground was. Apparently it was the only one she couldn’t identify. We decided that it is a Calli bug.

And here is Calli’s city, with some commentary from mom:

Calli’s city is named “Inside Boys” and when I asked her who lived there she said “you and me.” The city is below and we are on the page above. The big dots on us are our tummies (and she gave me freckles). I was afraid to ask why I was frowning. When I asked her what was in her city she said “colors” in a tone of voice as if to say OBVIOUSLY, Mom.

Why do I love kids so much? Maybe it’s because in the mind of a kid the only two residents of a city called “Inside Boys” are a little girl and her mom. Maybe it’s because the favorite toy of a little red dot named Mobile (en route from Joshua town to Tulsa) cites “three giraffes” as his favorite toy.

We all lived in minds like these at one time. What happened? I certainly didn’t appreciate it at the time.

But I do appreciate all you kids for all your good work. And for sharing it with us. I can hardly wait for Friday.

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