Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ROAD WORK AHEAD by Anastasia Suen


by Anastasia Suen & illustrated by Jannie Ho

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-670-01288-6
Publisher: Viking

On the car ride to visit Grandma, a young boy is delighted to see many trucks and construction workers doing their jobs.

As they wind through towns, down country roads and along the highway, they see construction crews doing all sorts of jobs, from jackhammering roads and pruning trees to changing streetlamp bulbs and fixing water pipes. As his unflappable mother drives (smile pasted on her face), the lucky boy even gets to watch as they put up telephone poles: “Left lane closed / for drilling holes. // Watch out now, / they’re putting up poles.” Ho’s brightly colored artwork is tailor-made for her audience. While her scenes are visually packed with people, vehicles and activity, all are rendered with basic shapes and colors and lack the distracting details that would overwhelm young children. Suen’s sparse rhyming verse leads readers through the busy scenes and uses simple vocabulary that suits both the youngest listeners and those just beginning to read. Throughout, kids can pick out funny things “hidden” within the pictures—people and animals that make repeated appearances. And while the focus may be on construction trucks, many community vehicles are in evidence as well.