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Verityville: Girl on the Road, Elizabeth Mary Cummings (author), Johanna Roberts (illus.), EC Press, October 2020.
Noisy cars, long road blocks, and busy building sites are all just part of life for the people who work on the road.
Join the women and girls on the road as they direct traffic, supervising the safe transportation of people and freight every day.
I love the concept of the Verityville series. Ordinary people we, and our children, come across every day – those ‘unsung heroes’, if you will, working hard to serve the community, maintain order, and help preserve the environment that we all need to share. These neat, little concept books, including The Sweetest Lollipop Lady in the World, The Garbage Guy, Hair Magic, Fiona the Lifeguard in Brave and Strong All Day Long, and Mrs T. and the Magic Pencil, fit perfectly into little hands and as a complete series, on your home or school bookshelf! The stories are not aimed at glamourising these jobs, as such, but more about raising awareness of the roles and reinforcing an appreciation for the goodwill and value they add to our society. Challenging gender stereotypes is another deeper facet that encourages a greater respect for the women in some of these heavily male-dominated roles.
An example of this is Elizabeth Mary Cummings’ latest release in the series; Girl on the Road. Through a fun ‘slice of life’ narrative with rhyming couplets, and including the concept of opposites, Cummings’ simple language appeals to the toddler and preschool-aged market; introducing her readers to women and girls who help with a range of road works. From lifting freight – “Woman on the road, Lifting the load.” “Up” “Down”, to supervising transportation – “Left” “Right”, managing traffic control – “Stop” “Go”, and assisting with deliveries – “Big delivery trucks. Beep when stuck.” “Full” “Empty”. Large, clear font and plenty of space, accompanied by Johanna Roberts’ bright and colourful, character friendly and detailed line and watercolour-style illustrations make for an engaging and palpable read.
Girl on the Road, along with the other Verityville books, provide scope for terrific discussion points amongst readers and their caregivers, as well as the ability for valuable language experiences when out and about themselves. The pictures in this title showcase realistic objects and scenes, such as different kinds of vehicles, road signs, traffic cones (or witches’ hats), construction site materials and even appropriate uniforms / safety gear for workers. The book is also complete with a handy glossary of all the opposites and traffic terms.
Eye-opening, rolling-good fun for truck and construction enthusiasts, and an encouraging sense of community, friendship and role models – perfect for children from age two and up.
Review by Romi Sharp.
Follow Elizabeth Cummings and purchase the Verityville books at the website:
Elizabeth Mary Cummings: https://elizabethmarycummings.com/
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