In this inspiring tale from Miller and Wheeler, roads are used as an apt metaphor for the journey of life. Roads lead out the front door to new experiences, new friendships, new discoveries, and, when the time is right, back home again. Initially the road’s path is described in mere physical characteristics. Roads take you “Over a hill, / under a bridge, / deep in a valley, / high on a ridge.” But then the meaning of the road turns deeper, clearly symbolizing the journeys of life. “Bringing you closer, / then curving away. / You always have choices. / To go? / Or to stay?” Miller demonstrates mastery of cadence and perfect rhymes, and her rhyming selections are refreshingly original. To a fault, the roads of the journey are unimpeded, with only a mention of looking back at the end of the road to see where we “tripped” along the way. Wheeler’s illustrations are superb and consistent with the tone of the poem as readers pass through space and time on the journey of life. Her use of warm lighting portrays the reflective nature of the poem, whether it’s the soft glow from lights inside buildings and homes or the colorful rays of sunsets and sunrises. Her illustrations are nostalgically hyperbolic: tall-masted ships, teal country huts with straw roofs, ornate bridges and city skylines. There’s even a treehouse village tucked away in leaves turned purple in the dim light of dusk. While her color palette is not realistic, it is incredibly fitting. At times she depicts the ocean in soft pinks, while later it’s blue. The detailed tableaus she includes throughout make for delightful new discoveries with each re-reading of the book.
This book has amazing rhymes, but even more so a great message. It talks about adventures being everywhere and there are ways to reach our dreams if we will only get started and move forward. There are lots of different roads that lead to lots of different places we just need to choose the best one that will lead us where we want to go.
This book is a gem! The illustrations are so sweet (and I have two big time bunny lovers, so they're extra enthusiastic about the rabbits in this). The text is well-written, rhyming (which we love), and meaningful. The sentiments expressed, about heading off into the world and experiencing all that life has to offer, are beautiful. It's a lot like Oh the Places You'll Go, but with a very different artistic flavor.
Pat Zietlow Miller is a bestselling children’s book author. She is the author of Sophie’s Squash, which was starred by Kirkus, Booklist, SLJ, and PW, as well as awarded the 2014 Crystal Kite Award, the 2014 Golden Kite Award, a 2014 Charlotte Zolotow Honor, and the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor. Her second book, Wherever You Go, received two starred reviews and has sold in multiple translations. She is also the author of Sharing the Bread, Sophie’s Squash Goes to School, and The Quickest Kid in Clarksville.
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