Friday, June 20, 2014
Go! Go! Go! Stop! by Charise Mericle Harper
Rating: 4 stars
Anthropomorphic. Remember that word from your school days? That's what you call it when you attribute human qualities to anything that's not a human. We see this all the time in children's books with animals and trucks and maybe even clouds.
But…the colors within a traffic light? I'm impressed with Harper's imagination!
In this story "Little Green," the green circle from a traffic light, utters his first word: "Go." (It's also his only word.) He whispers it, he states it, he yells it as loud as he can. And he rolls along to a construction site just as all the vehicles are waking up from their afternoon nap. Armed with his new word, Little Green charges them with action!
"Tow truck towed terrifically. Crane carried carefully. Mixer mixed marvelously. Dump Truck dumped dependably. And Backhoe waved his long arms in the air." All is good!
But then…too much GO and not enough of anything else got all the trucks into a mixed-up, over-worked jumble.
Luckily, a stranger rolls into town. Little Red looks around and shouts the only word he knew: "STOP!" After a little bit of trial and error, Little Green and Little Red manage the construction site by working together and taking turns. They get some help from Little Yellow, who arrives as soon as the construction site's work--a new bridge--is completed. Perfect timing for Little Yellow's words: "Slow down!"
(Not "Go Faster!" as I first taught Lorelei years and years ago, just to crack myself up…!)
This is a super cute book for young kids who are just beginning to recognize that words mean something. And even better for young kids whose older siblings read but…they don't yet. Like Kiefer! He can, at three, see these big, bright, red STOPs and big, bright, green GOs and "read" them. And that makes him feel good, practice a bit, and then get curious for more.