Reviews of City Streets are for People


“A kid-friendly look at how urban areas can move away from traffic congestion and fossil-fueled vehicles.”

In the opening spread, Curtis establishes that city streets pose a challenge for pedestrians and cyclists trying to circumnavigate cars and trucks. Readers learn that vehicles that run on fossil fuels create carbon dioxide, a root cause of climate change and various health problems. The book provides a brief history of urban transportation, from narrow roads for walking to the advent of carriages and wagons to the rise of personal vehicles. It also shows the various forms of public transportation that cities have offered during different eras. Taking a global perspective and using straightforward language, Curtis outlines the changes cities are making in order to balance the needs of people and motorists and reclaim public spaces: creating more bike lanes, regulating vehicles, and making public transportation more reliable, affordable, safe, and convenient. Lively hand-sketched illustrations with both traditional and digital coloring offer panoramic views of disparate cities teeming with a diverse array of people, including some wearing surgical masks. Included in the backmatter are steps—some practical, others more aspirational—kids can take to promote sustainable transportation. An empowering look at reclaiming urban areas from vehicles for a better quality of life and a greener future. (glossary, sources) (Informational picture book. 8-12)”—Kirkus

“A clear, insightful and inspiring story…”

“A clear, insightful and inspiring story about urban transportation, climate change, and what cities around the world are doing to create transportation that will make cities more vibrant, healthy and safe…. delightfully international in scope [with] busy, cheerful illustrations… [that] depict the liveliness of urban life and the beauty of green spaces. But they also show the effects of gas fumes, traffic, and the pandemic.”—Elissa Barnard for Ecology Action

“Eye-opening and really causes the reader to think…”

“This book is eye opening and really causes the reader to think about their own transportation choices and gently leads them to better, more environmental alternatives. I love how this book shows readers all of the different and innovative ways people move all over the world. Young readers today will be the innovators of tomorrow. Perhaps this book will light a spark for a reader to begin to look to other countries around the world to improve the walkability of their own cities…. Emma FitzGerald’s illustrations are dynamic and fast. Line drawings with colour scattered throughout, they reflect the hustle and bustle of a vibrant and busy city. Readers will enjoy looking closely at the different pages to see things that remind them of their own cities. I appreciated the inclusion of many different people who travel through the world in different ways.”—Storytime with Stephanie

“Thoughtful book for young environmentalists”

“Following her informational picture books on urban forests and water, Curtis’ third ThinkCities title focuses on sustainable transportation in urban settings. She opens with modern city transportation problems, such as congested roads, air pollution, and traffic accidents, and offers a simple mantra and solution: “City streets are for people!” In order to understand today’s urban needs, the author uses short paragraphs to give a brief history of public transportation in cities around the world, from Jerusalem’s narrow, twisty streets for walkers only to North America’ highway sprawl. The bulk of the volume, however, focuses on global mass transit solutions and opening up spaces and making them safer for pedestrians (including wheelchair users) and bikers. Creative solutions, like cable cars in La Paz, Bolivia, and Dutch trains that run on 100 percent wind power, emphasize the benefits of renewable energy sources. Cheery and busy childlike illustrations not only reflect the expected diversity of cities but also postpandemic life with mask-wearing individuals throughout. Suggestions for readers to promote sustainable transportation conclude this thoughtful book for young environmentalists. — Angela Leeper, Booklist


“This informative trip… will fuel actionable efforts towards a greener and more sustainable transportation future. Highly recommended.”

“The thoughtful “ThinkCities” series is inspired by ‘the urgency for new approaches to city life as a result of climate change, population growth and increased density’… In a conversational style, Curtis shares fascinating facts (one of the world’s deepest subway stations in Moscow, Russia, is the length of a 19-storey building) and figures (when Oslo, Norway went almost entirely city-centre car-free in 2019, there were zero pedestrian and cycling deaths). With a well-balanced approach, both pros and cons associated with the self-driving electric vehicle debate are presented. Up-to-the-minute information is relayed, including how many cities opened up new bike lanes during the pandemic. Emma FitzGerald’s energetic, hand-sketched illustrations capture bustling, busy towns around the globe. A diverse array of people of all ages are depicted in motion – many on foot and on two wheels – going about their daily routines. There are many details to pore over in the panoramic scenes… A concluding double-page spread entitled “I like to move it!” offers 10 initiatives that young readers can do to jump start change on their city streets… This informative trip provided by City Streets Are for People will fuel actionable efforts towards a greener and more sustainable transportation future. Highly Recommended.”—Linda Ludke for  Canadian Review of Materials


“Charming illustrations…. The writing is casual and accessible.”

“The text is accompanied by the charming illustrations from Emma FitzGerald who also has her own artbooks that you should definitely check out. The writing is casual and accessible, and provides an interesting though brief intro to different types of transport used by people over the world. This is an educational and fun book for ages 8 to 12.”— ParkaBlogs


“A great book for budding architects and urban designers.”

“I love this book, which reimagines city streets as being places where public transportation is easy and cheap to access and where living in a city is sustainable, healthy, accessible, and safe. This is a great book for budding architects and urban designers.”—BookRiot


Fun, informative, and highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library”

“City Streets Are for People by author/storyteller Andrea Curtis and artist/illustrator Emma FitzGerald is fun, accessible and ultimately hopeful picture book that explores sustainable transportation around the globe, including electric vehicles, public transit, bicycles, walking and more. It invites us to conjure up a city of the future, where these modes are all used together to create a place that is sustainable, healthy, accessible and safe.

Included are a list of ideas for children to promote green transportation in their communities, along with a glossary and sources for further reading.

Critique: Fun, informative, and highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Environmental, Recycling, and Green Transportation collections for children ages 8-12.”—Midwest Book Review