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Storytime & Artmaking: Starting Over in Sunset Park

Take inspiration from José Pelaez and Lynn McGee's book Starting Over in Sunset Park to create a community window drawing. (While this activity is inspired by a book, you do not need to read the book to do the activity.)

Los niños y sus cuidadores escuharán el libro Empezar de Nuevo en Sunset Park por José Pelaez y Lynn McGee y crearán la Ventana de la comunidad basado en el libro. Dirigido a niños de 3 a 6 años, ¡pero todos son bienvenidos!

About the Book

Jessica and her mom, Camila, must live in their cousins’ crowded apartment until Camila finds work making holiday decorations and they can afford their own place. Isolated on the playground and baffled in class, unable to understand her teacher’s instructions, Jessica is intensely homesick. But little by little, things get better. She begins to learn English, and she loves the cats she and her mom care for to earn extra money. Left behind by traveling owners, the cats make the best of their situation, inspiring Jessica to do the same. 

Getting Started

In Starting Over in Sunset Park, Jessica and her Mama move to New York City from the Dominican Republic. They begin exploring their new neighborhood and make friends with their neighbors. Who are the people you see in your community/neighborhood?


En Empezar de Nuevo en Sunset Park, Jessica y su Mamá se mudan a la ciudad de Nueva York desde la República Dominicana. Empiezan a explorar su nuevo barrio y se hacen amigos de sus vecinos. ¿Quiénes son las personas que ve en su comunidad / barrio?


  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Markers, colored pencils, or crayons


  • Papel
  • Lápiz
  • Marcadores, lápices de colores, o crayones

Artmaking Activity

1. Place your paper horizontally.


1. Pons u papel horizontalmente.

2. Draw three large rectangles on your paper. These will be the windows on your building.

2. Dibuja tres rectángulos grandes en tu papel. Estas serán las ventanas de su edificio.

3. Inside of the rectangles, draw two small squares, with one on top of the other, leaving a small space in between.

3. Dentro de los rectángulos, dibuja dos cuadrados pequeños. Uno encima del otro dejando un poco espacio en el medio.

4. Think about the people and animals you see in your community such as teachers, neighbors, friends, grocery workers, or pets. Draw them inside of the windows you made.

4. Piense en a quién ve en su comunidad, como maestros, vecinos, amigos, trabajadores de la tienda o mascotas. Dibújelos dentro de las ventanas que hiciste.

5. Think about what material you want your building to be. Is it made out of wood, brick, stone, or a different type of material? Decorate your building and windows.

5. Piense en qué material quiere que sea su edificio. ¿Está hecho de madera, ladrillo, piedra o de otro tipo de material? Decora tu edificio y ventanas.


Community: a group of people living in the same place

Neighbor: a person living near or next door to another

Materials: elements used in the creation of a work of art or a building


Comunidad: grupo de personas que viven en el mismo lugar

Vecino: una persona que vive cerca o al lado de otra

Materiales: elementos utilizados en la creación de una obra de arte o un edificio

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