Sign Off

illus. by Stephen Savage. 56p. S. & S./Beach Lane. May 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534412101.
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 2—The term "sign off" means ending a radio conversation, among other things. In this case, the title is taken quite literally and in the most imaginative way. It is not enough for Savage to depicteveryday signs, ones that children will instantly recognize, but he conjures up a story where the characters come off of each of the signs. What do they do when they leap off the signs? And why? This is essentially a wordless picture book, apart from the lettering on the signs, so even the youngest of children can participate by drawing on what they know about signs. The story takes place over the course of a night and the inky colors and the night sky signal that to readers. All of the iconic sign characters come together at the end for a very specific purpose, having to do with the transition to dawn. This is brilliantly illustrated throughout and includes endpapers that let the children know that the story begins at night, but as the sky lightens and the characters finish their work, the last endpaper features the sunrise. The geometric shapes and lack of words might suggest this title is for the littlest of children (and it is) but the story and all the clues it contains makes it a winner for the higher end of this range.
VERDICT This is a must-buy for any elementary or juvenile collections.

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