Chuck in the City


16 pages
ISBN 0-919441-63-7
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Bill Cohen
Reviewed by Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt is a Toronto-based freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. He has written many young adult and children's books, including Day of the Flying Fox: The True Story of World War II Pilot Charley Fox.


Chuck, a Cree youngster, is about to visit his grandmother, who lives in
a high-rise condo in a big city. The car trip takes so long that Chuck
falls asleep en route. When he wakes up, he finds himself in a strange
bed in a room that seems to be up in the sky. Chuck knows right away
that he is finally in the city and cannot wait to go out and explore. In
fact, he is so excited that he leaves the condo without telling his
mother or grandmother. For a while, Chuck is too busy enjoying the
strange sights of the city to worry about finding his way home. When his
stomach tells him it is time for breakfast, however, he decides to go
home. To his horror, the youngster discovers that all city streets look
alike and there are lots of them. Chuck is lost in the city and has no
idea how to get home.

This story, told in rhyming couplets, resembles the classic fairy-tale
plot of an urban child lost in the woods, only in this case the
situation is humorously reversed. Instead of a big bad wolf, there is a
mean dog who chases little Chuck; and instead of a gingerbread house,
there is a donut shop. Both the verse, by Jordan Wheeler, and the
illustrations, by Bill Cohen, have a charming “home-baked”
simplicity that immediately wins over the reader. Recommended.


Wheeler, Jordan., “Chuck in the City,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 27, 2024,