When the animals arrived, the people were so happy that they waved their arms and screamed.
“They’re playing hide-and-seek and who-can-scream-the-loudest?” said Bear, “Just like we do when they come to the forest!”
“Let’s play!” said Newt.
“Wait!” Raccoon yelled. “First we need to get a delicious cup of coffee with lots and lots of sugar. Humans always bring paper cups full of the stuff to the forest. I tried some once. It makes you move twenty times faster than normal!”
All the animals agreed: coffee first, with lots and lots of sugar!
It is the end of summer, and all the animals of the forest watch as the humans pack up their camping things and head back to the city. The animals miss the fun they had while the humans were visiting and decide to go visit them in the city. When the animals arrive, everyone runs away in fear, but Bear thinks they are playing “who-can-scream-the-loudest?”, a game the animals like to play when humans visit the forest.
Before the animals set off exploring the city, Raccoon suggests they get some coffee (with lots of sugar). He suggests this because he has seen humans bring cups of coffee into the forest and so this is what he assumes you are supposed to do when visiting the humans. After trying some coffee once, Raccoon discovered that it can give you lots of energy! After visiting the coffee shop, the animals continue to explore the city, and it becomes a little chaotic. The sheep and mountain goats play peekaboo with the people in tall buildings, the otters go swimming in the fountains, and the other animals explore different buildings, rearranging everything as they go. Just as the day is ending, police cars and animal control try to gather all the animals, but, of course, the animals make it a game of hide and seek. Eventually, the animals get tired and let the humans take them back safely to the forest.
Brucker has created a hilarious story where animals have an adventure in the city by following the lead of humans. Each page is filled with vivid and fun illustrations, showing animals doing all sorts of crazy things. From the animals’ playing games to their drinking coffee, children and adults alike will enjoy finding the comparisons between what the animals do in the city to what humans are known to do in nature. City Day is a perfect book to read aloud, and it offers a great teaching moment on the importance of respecting animals and their home.
Julia Pitre is a children’s librarian with London Public Library in London, Ontario.