Nana in the City

Nana in the City
Written and Illustrated by Lauren Castillo

Publisher’s Summary:
In this magical picture book, a young boy spends an overnight visit with his nana and is frightened to find that the city where she lives is filled with noise and crowds and scary things. But then Nana makes him a special cape to help him be brave, and soon the everyday sights, sounds, and smells of the city are not scary–but wonderful. The succinct text is paired with watercolor illustrations that capture all the vitality, energy, and beauty of the city.

Primary Source Pairing:
For some readers, a place like New York City is familiar and feels like home. For others, a bustling city may feel scary and foreign. As Nana and the boy explore the city, invite students to compare and contrast the illustration from the book to a photograph of New York City. Additionally, take a photograph of your location and compare and contrast the photograph of New York City to where you live.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • Find something small but interesting.
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • How are they arranged?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • What’s happening in the image?
  • What is the same about the illustration in the book and the photograph of New York City? What is different?
  • What is the same about where you live and New York City? What is different?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Illustration from Nana in the City:
New York City Photograph: MK Feeney on Flickr