Down the Road

Paperback | January 12, 2001

byAlice SchertleIllustratorE. B. Lewis

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Mama and Papa agree that eggs for breakfast would be nice, but they're too busy to go to the store. So they decide that Hetty is old enough to go by herself. Although she practices walking smoothly up the hill so she won't break the precious eggs, she can't help running all the way down. Young readers will hold their breath as Hetty tries her very best to get those eggs home safely. 'The story is remarkable for its evocative imagery, and the loving interchange between the characters sets a charming tone. The words are perfectly complemented by Lewis's dazzling, impressionistic watercolors that show the joyous power of love and depict a warmly supportive world in which Hetty ventures forth toward independence. A fine book that speaks straight to the heart.' - Booklist

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Mama and Papa agree that eggs for breakfast would be nice, but they're too busy to go to the store. So they decide that Hetty is old enough to go by herself. Although she practices walking smoothly up the hill so she won't break the precious eggs, she can't help running all the way down. Young readers will hold their breath as Hetty tr...

ALICE SCHERTLE is a poet and the author of many well-loved books for children, including Little Blue Truck, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way, Little Blue Truck's Christmas, Button Up!, and All You Need for a Snowman . She lives in Plainfield, Massachusetts.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:40 pages, 9.5 × 11 × 0.25 inPublished:January 12, 2001Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0152024719

ISBN - 13:9780152024710

Appropriate for ages: 4

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Kindergarten-Grade 3?Hetty has never been down the dusty road "all by herself" before, but one morning her parents decide she's old enough to fetch eggs in town on her own. The way is long, and she makes up sing-song "walking words" to amuse herself as she goes. She strides through a meadow, across a stream, and finally "...into the cool shadows of Mr. Birdie's Emporium and Dry Goods Store." On the way home, the eggs survive a close call but break when she is tempted to pick a "Papa-size" apple. Crestfallen, she climbs the tree and sulks until her father comes looking for her. They share the delicious fruit, and then Mama joins them on their perch. The next day, it's apple pie for breakfast instead of eggs. The lyrical, rhythmic text is rich with a warm, leisurely Southern feeling. Even when disaster strikes, there's not much to worry about. The story is both timeless and old-fashioned; the tractor, cars, and truck waiting for repairs in Hetty's yard and the credit card stickers in Mr. Birdie's window ground the rural setting in the present. The watercolor illustrations radiate an almost beachlike quality of blinding light, as well as offer the shadowy relief of intense and subtle greens, blues, and browns. Hetty is a sturdy, charming African American girl with pigtails, ribbons, and overalls. This story is so cozy and sweet that it makes readers thirsty-but Lewis's paintings go down like cool clear water.?Vanessa Elder, School Library JournalCopyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.