Signals! Go! Go! Go! Stop! by Charise Mericle Harper
ONE DAY LITTLE GREEN SAID A WORD.
IT WAS HIS FIRST WORD. HE HAD NEVER SPOKEN BEFORE.
THE WORD WAS GO!
There's bridge to be built, and the gang's all there--Dump Truck, Forklift, Crane, Bulldozer, Power Shovel--roarin' and rarin' to begin.
This is what they were meant to do, and the construction vehicles get going, doing their thing. They dig, they shove, load, they lift and shovel, and pour. The construction site is filled with hustle and bustle.
But there's a problem! When everybody is focused on doing his one thing, nothing much gets accomplished.
And then Little Green rolls into town. He finds his niche in a tall frame, and switches into action.
GO! GO! GO!
The crew gets in line, and things start to move. They bustle and hustle and zoom around.
They bump into each other. It's all a bit crazy.
LITTLE GREEN TRIED WHISPERING,
HOPING IT WOULD SLOW THINGS DOWN.
But things don't improve. There's such a thing as too much of a good thing! All go is a no-go for builders. But just in time, a new dude rolls into town. His name is Little Red. He has one word for all of the gung-ho on-the-go boys.
Little Red fits right in, below Little Green in the frame.
LITTLE RED AND LITTLE GREEN WERE EXACT OPPOSITES, BUT THEY TRIED TO WORK TOGETHER.
After a bit of experimentation they get their act together, signalling the builders when to go and when to stop, and the bridge construction site is beginning to shape up. But it seems there's one control concept they still need!
THEN LITTLE YELLOW SLID INTO TOWN.
HE HAD SOMETHING TO SAY.
Charise Mericle Harper's newest picture book project, Go! Go! Go! Stop! Alfred A. Knopf, 2014), uses the cartooning skill the author/illustrator used to good effect in her notable Just Grace
beginning chapter books to come up with a creative combination of construction, colors, and traffic signal concepts. Harper's illustrations have a lot of detail that will keep young power vehicle fans poring over the action on each page, and the idea of personifying traffic lights as the necessary arbiters of systematic order carry a social message cleverly embedded in this story.
Kirkus' starred review cheers, "A wonderful read-aloud and a lighthearted and lively celebration of action words!"
Pair this one with Rinker's perennial best-selling rhyming tale, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, or Ashburn's Mother Goose mash-up, Builder Goose: It's Construction Rhyme Time! (see review here: .