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EASY STREET by Rita Gray


by Rita Gray & illustrated by Mary Bono

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-525-47657-1
Publisher: Dutton

For those who ever thought making a road was a simple process, Gray will show you to think again; easy street is all but easy to fashion. Bono’s road crew—three-dimensional, clay-like characters, all button-nosed and busyness—demonstrate the steps necessary to lay an asphalt roadway. Road-building is an act of many parts, but as Gray tells it in his minimal rhyme, it is also a straightforward affair: one layer goes upon another, dirt then gravel then “Asphalt, asphalt, cooked with heat. / Pouring out a slice of street. / Sticky street, soft to spread. / Squeeze it out like jam on bread.” Always, there is the road maker’s refrain: “Roll it, roll it, wheels so fat. / Roll it down to make it flat.” Complementing the read-aloud bounce of the text is an afterword that explains the importance of compaction, the composition of aggregate and the origin of the word “asphalt.” And who won’t be intrigued by the fact that mixed in with all the tar is a good measure of dinosaur bones? (Picture book. 2-5)