Along a Long Road is one of those titles that is just so fun to say, over and over again. It’s a very wide book, so when you open to the first page you have a seaside townscape that stretches across your lap and into your kids’ laps a bit. This is a fun book to read – lots of “longs” and “alongs”, but the images are really the show stopper. The yellow ribbon of a road is the only part of the page that has a sheen to it – which makes you want to drag your fingers across the page along a long road and onto the next page. I love books about travel – and I love when you travel from one page to the next and the things that you discover in the background bridge this page turning. We discover something new each time we read it. F still tenses up when that apple rolls across the road, knowing that our biker is about to hit it head on. Lucky for us he picks himself up and carries on, in and out of tunnels, over bridges and by the sea. E loves the amusement park, F likes whale watching, and I love the pregnant lady standing by the library. This was the book that helped inspire some of the cityscape I made for my nephew – particularly that library.
The website has a short little video that shows the words and the artwork of this book by Frank Viva really well. The book is really one long illustrated piece, and you could install it on the inside of a ring and make a complete circle out of it – it ends and begins in just the same place. Hey – that’s not a bad idea. How fun would it be to be able to order all 30+ feet of it in a continuous roll and install it in a kid’s room or in a classroom?
Or you can just do what we like to do… finish it and then chant “again! again!”
Along a Long Road is perfect for even very young children – but my nine year old still runs over to join us when we read it aloud. It’s a fun book to call out objects to look for along the way. You’ll want to read the words slowly and let little eyes take in the scene. Also a perfect book to celebrate a new bike rider, or to encourage anyone to get out of the car a bit more and see the sights from a bike. Just watch out for errant apples!
Find this title at your favorite local independent bookstore. Happy reading!