Steve Bjorkman is the celebrated illustrator of numerous books for children, including Jeff Foxworthy's New York Times bestsellering picture books DIRT ON MY SHIRT and SILLY STREET, as well as EMIILY'S EVERYDAY MANNERS by Cindy Post Senning and Peggy Post, and Jay McGraw's LIFE STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH BULLIES. He lives with his wife in California. SPLIT! SPLAT! is his first book with Scholastic Press.
PreS-Gr 1 --With the opening couplet, ``One by one or two by two--/ come along, it's fun to do!,'' children are treated to a lively, lyrical peek into the world beyond Hometown, U. S. A. Each page (or, predominantly, double-page) shows and tells how children from very different cultures travel to school. The scope is broad, ranging from the desert sands of Egypt to Switzerland's snowy peaks. The exuberant watercolor washes (reminiscent of James Stevenson's style) complement each page's rhyming text, overflow with joy and motion, and add a visual zest that keeps the pages turning. The final bonus is two-fold. One single page lists the children's names from the story and tells where they live, e.g., ``Niels and Solveig live in Norway.'' Following this is a world map with the children's countries shown. What fun to share the enthusiasm and questioning this book (a first for this age group) will generate. This book deserves a prominent place at home, at schools, and in the library because the total result is an ultimate example of excellence in education. --Mary Lou Budd, Milford South Elementary School, OH
Children all over the world go to school, but how they get there varies greatly. In the first part of this book, American students are shown en route to school on foot and on roller skates, in a school bus and in cars. Bjorkman's pictures are playful, and Baer's rhymed couplets are pleasant, if uninspired. (``Liz and Larry, as a rule, / wear their jogging shoes to school.'') But when the scope broadens to include youngsters from other countries, both the verses and the illustrations become considerably more compelling. Children are seen traveling to school by vaporetto and helicopter, on cross-country skis, by train and double-decker bus, in a small skiff. Although the book provides an appealing global panorama, it might have been more informative--and less cumbersome--had the specific location of the students' homes been indicated on each page. Instead, readers must turn to a list at the end of the book to learn where each child lives. Nevertheless, children will enjoy taking a look at the differences--and the similarities--between their lives and those of their contemporaries in all lands. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)