Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Go! Go! Go! Stop!

Horn Book (March/April, 2014)
Harper's quirky story stars two traffic lights and a fleet of construction vehicles, all of whom learn the importance of cooperation and teamwork. Little Green bounces ball-like into town, shouts the only word he knows -- "GO!" -- and wakes up some napping trucks. Bulldozer, Dump Truck, Mixer -- "soon everyone was…busy working on the new bridge." Little Green keeps on "GO, GO, GO"ing, and the hard-working trucks keep on truckin', but without a way to not go, things are soon out of control. Chaos threatens the bridge's construction and the vehicles' good humor. Harper's collagelike illustrations, incorporating photo snippets of dirt and rubble, are hard to resist. Construction enthusiasts, of course, will slow down to rubberneck at her simply rendered drawings of cheerful trucks in colorful cartoonlike scenes, but there's a well-built story here, too, giving this truck book broader appeal. Catastrophe is averted by a red "stranger," who rolls onto the site, assesses the situation, and yells, "STOP!" Still, it takes some hard work by everyone to strike the right balance between going and stopping; a special cameo by Little Yellow provides a nice keystone at the end. With its lively dialogue and action-packed pages, Go! Go! Go! Stop! will go over big at storytime. kitty flynn

No comments: