I Am a Sidewalk
by Matt MacGregor
Lettra Press LLC

"I felt a great sense of pride to have known such a good friend. And that even as a sidewalk, I contributed to the growth of America."

This little but informative book comes in just under 50 pages and is split evenly between text and illustrations. The sidewalk, which is the title character, undergoes a literal transformational journey from concrete to sidewalk and, eventually, back to reclaimed material for new construction projects. When the concrete is first poured and cared for, animals approach him and inform him that he is the beginning of trouble. They know that more concrete, roads, and buildings will soon follow. Although the sidewalk loses most of his animal friends, he gains a city full of people. He enjoys giving them a safe path and especially loves the 4th of July parade with its crowds.

From the beginning, it is obvious MacGregor thinks about and cares for sidewalks more than the average person. His book is very instructional; it reads like a primer for the children of Dept. of Transportation workers. The personification of the sidewalk is well-done, although it treads an emotional knife’s edge at times. For example, the displacement of animals is a tough reality for the targeted audience, and when the jackhammer arrives and the sidewalk states, “It was quite painful, and I cried a little,” it is a little cringe-inducing. Still, as far as an inspiring, informational book covering sidewalks, it is accomplished. The accompanying illustrations fit the instructive yet playful manner of the book. Also, the author deftly handles the deconstruction of the sidewalk and highlights the concrete’s recycling and new life to come. The inclusion of the author’s original English paper in which the idea first took shape is well-received. Children whose parents work in construction or children fascinated with construction vehicles may be especially enamored by this tale.

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