Along a Long Road - Picture Book Review

Publication date: 28 June 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN 10/13: 0316129259 | 9780316129251

Category: Children’s Picture Book
Keywords: Picture book, children’s, bicycling, travel
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed from the library

I picked up Along A Long Road at the library because of its eye-catching cover. Along A Long Road is unlike any picture book I’ve read recently. The illustrations are very graphic and stylized, with clean, fluid lines and only 5 colors (black, blue, red, white, and yellow). It doesn’t have much of a narrative. A bicyclist rides his bike up, down and all around - through town, by the sea, into a tunnel, by a carnival--following a yellow road throughout the book.

I really liked Viva’s illustrations and the fact that the road was shiny while the rest of the book was matte. It really gives the book a unique look and feel. I personally found the story to be a little boring and might have preferred it without words. That way I could have just lost myself in the imagery. However I can see how a simple story like this would appeal to very young children.

I think it would be really fun to have them follow the road and point out all of the people and things that are along the road. The standout here is definitely the art. I also just read on Viva’s website the following: “This celebration of cycling was created as a single, continuous 35-five-foot-long piece of art.” This actually makes me more impressed with the artwork than I already was and I would love to see this in its original 35 foot format.

I picked this book up for the illustrations and I can say that I wasn’t disappointed. While the story itself wasn’t a personal favorite, it’s a really easy read and I can see this appealing to very young children.

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