Friday, September 5, 2008


Sutton, Sally. 2008. Roadwork. Ill. by Brian Lovelock. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick.

Better than a book about bulldozers or dump trucks, Roadwork follows the sequence of events in the construction of a new road. Excavators, cranes, steamrollers and more, make their appearance in this delightful rhyming romp down the path to a new highway. Each step in the process is described (even the planting of trees along the shoulders) in fun and easy to understand language. The rhymes roll out easily and never seem forced, "Roll the tar. Roll the tar. Make it firm and flat. Squash it down and press it out. Squelch! SPLUCK! SPLAT!"
The font is large and the exclamatory words are in a concrete style, "Screech! BOOM! WHOOSH!"

Each stage has a double-spread illustration, done in bright but realistic colors in style reminiscent of folk-art. Colorful paint speckles adorn each painting, adding a touch of playfulness. In a nice touch, the construction crew is very diverse, featuring women and various ethnicities.

Roadwork is a non-fiction book that is as much fun to read as fiction.

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