Toad on the Road: A Cautionary Tale

illus. by Stephen Shaskan. 32p. HarperCollins/Harper. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062393470.
PreS-Gr 1—Toad sits in the middle of the road, playing with his friend, a fly, when along comes Bear on a bike. "Everyone shout: Look out! Look out!" Bear crashes with a loud "Skid! Screech! Bam!" He warns the young toad that a road is no place to play. "Vamoose! Skedaddle! Without delay!/What do you think your mama would say?" Croc in a car and Vole in a van follow the same pattern as Bear, creating a pileup of wrecked vehicles. When Mama Toad arrives in her tow truck, one wonders if she's worried for her baby's safety or if the situation was designed to drum up some towing business for her. The digital art is attractive, but the high-energy text dominates. Sets of rhythmic, rhyming phrases are repeated throughout, allowing children to join in on the telling. As each new animal is introduced, it is first shown in silhouette, giving kids the opportunity to guess what it is. This boisterous read-aloud is sure to delight young listeners, both one-on-one and in groups.
VERDICT Catchy and interactive, this is a good choice for preschool storytime; recommended for most public libraries.

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