Ok Go

Overview

In a world of go! go! go! go! go! it's time to stop! and find a new way.

Carin Berger's playful new picture book is a jubilant celebration of going green.

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Overview

In a world of go! go! go! go! go! it's time to stop! and find a new way.

Carin Berger's playful new picture book is a jubilant celebration of going green.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
“Berger’s playful take on going green introduces the simple changes even wee ones can make to lighten the carbon load.”
Rich Cohen
…a vision as giddily surreal as the work of Joan Miro.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Not to be confused with the rock band of the same name, Berger's (The Little Yellow Leaf) latest is visually and verbally raucous even as its environmental message is (comparatively) subtle. "GO!" shouts the opening text, as peapod-shaped vehicles sputter and race across the page. They are helmed by a diverse cast of collaged birdlike citizens, animals (and even flowers). Buttons, disks and magazine clippings serving as heads, wheels and outlandish apparel. The pages grow increasingly crowded with vehicles as well as with the word "go," creating a frenetic rush-hour vibe. A gray spread of smoggy clouds and a big "Uh-oh!" reveals the price of all the traffic, and a lone figure yells "Stop!" into a megaphone on the following page. The cars "screech!" to a halt, and a final foldout spread reveals green alternatives-dozens of the figures march, bike and skateboard against a sage-green backdrop, along with cheeky environmental suggestions ("Use your feet, Pete," "Conserve, Merve"). The detailed scenes and wackily endearing characters (made from recycled materials, natch) invite poring over. Ages 2-5. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Berger uses only a few words, repeated for emphasis, to propel the driving message of conservation. Most of the text appears on signs carried by characters in the last few pages. From the cover and the end pages, it is evident that found object collage is used to create the illustrations, mainly of automobiles, all going in one direction, apparently against a cloudy blue sky, with "Go" repeated endlessly in several typefaces. The odd actors are created from scraps of cloth and newspapers; they have skinny pipe-cleaner arms and wear a variety of comic hats. Their long, rocket-like vehicles use buttons and dials, often eight at a time, as wheels. When we reach a double page of gray and black clouds, "UH-OH!" in large letters appears. An order to "STOP!" precedes a four-page foldout. Before unfolding, we are told, "I know!" The opened pages are filled with a multitude of the tiny costumed characters with labels like, "Plant a tree, Marie," or "Think green, Irene," or "Take a hike, Spike," and other similar phrases, to emphasize how to "Save the planet, Janet." Signs carried by characters on the last double page add recycling messages along with a list of further sources. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 4

Berger's simple environmental message is delivered through clever, innovative illustrations that make her point without being didactic. Idiosyncratic creatures decked out in fabric pieces, buttons, and tall imaginative hats sail along in even more idiosyncratic vehicles that are variously colored and decorated with stickers and decals. Sleekly designed with numerous wheels, they are seemingly unaware of the dirt and exhaust trailing behind them. As ever-more-bizarre conveyances fill the scene, the word "GO!" increases until nine rows of "go go go go go" (in stark white letters against a forest green background) march across a full spread. When sullen gray-shaded clouds fill the next page, an ultra-large "UH-OH!" appears. On the following pages, a bystander (against a bright red backdrop) trumpets "STOP," and a page filled with "s-c-r-e-e-c-h" brings the action to a halt, until the characters finally leave their wheels behind and put their feet on the ground. Slogans, studding a four-page gateway, suggest alternative behaviors: "Take a Hike, Spike," "Save the Planet, Janet," "Use Your Feet, Pete," and "Roller-Skate, Kate." While the opening pages may puzzle younger children, the offbeat presentation will undoubtedly initiate interest among older readers, and the fanciful collages (made from recycled materials) will have artistic readers poring over the pages. A classy book that will have multiple uses in a variety of settings.-Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA

Kirkus Reviews
Berger follows the success of New York Times Best Illustrated Little Yellow Leaf (2008) with a book for little tree-huggers. She fittingly uses recycled materials to create her stylized collages, at first depicting a few cars puffing exhaust against a light-blue background emblazoned with the word: "GO!" As she incorporates more cars into successive illustrations, she shifts the background to darker shades of blue and gray, while repeating "GO!" across the double spreads. This visual commentary on the fast pace of contemporary society and the environmental impact of cars and fossil fuels is powerful in its simplicity and accessibility. After screeching to a "STOP!" the text on the four facing pages of the closing double gatefold shifts from spare to perhaps intertextual in nature: Echoes of Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" resound in the myriad suggestions for slowing down the pace of life and conserving resources: "Use the bus, Gus," "Recycle, Michael," and so on, thus bringing the recycling ethic not only to her pictures but to her words as well. (environmental tips, resources) (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061576669
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Carin Berger is an award-winning designer and illustrator. Her cut-paper collages are made using ephemera, such as catalogues, old books, receipts, letters, and ticket stubs. In a starred review, Kirkus said of her Forever Friends, "Sophisticated, sensitive, and accessible, this picture book will offer new insights and pleasures with each season." The Little Yellow Leaf was a 2008 New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books selection, and in a starred review, Publishers Weekly called her A Perfect Day "lovely." She is also the illustrator of the acclaimed Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant, both by Jack Prelutsky, among other books. She lives with her family in New York City.

Carin Berger is an award-winning designer and illustrator. Her cut-paper collages are made using ephemera, such as catalogues, old books, receipts, letters, and ticket stubs. In a starred review, Kirkus said of her Forever Friends, "Sophisticated, sensitive, and accessible, this picture book will offer new insights and pleasures with each season." The Little Yellow Leaf was a 2008 New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books selection, and in a starred review, Publishers Weekly called her A Perfect Day "lovely." She is also the illustrator of the acclaimed Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant, both by Jack Prelutsky, among other books. She lives with her family in New York City.

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