K-Gr 2-- Gibbons does it again. She examines an everyday subject, one that can be quite complicated, and presents it with the clarity of crayon-box colors and present-tense immediacy. Here, she covers major, important, and even life-depends-on-it signals. Readers will find historical examples plus those,currently used at sea, on highways, on railroads, in sports, and in emergency situations. The author includes those that can be heard and those that can be seen. Accurate illustrations are appropriately labeled. Barbara Rinkoff's Red Light Says Stop! (Lothrop, 1974; o.p.) has similar information but is not as attractive. Tana Hoban's I Read Signs and I Read Symbols (both Greenwillow, 1983) cover different territory, but might be interesting used in connection with Gibbons's book. From the ``blink,'' ``bong,'' ``whirr,'' and ``touchdown!'' on the first page to the wave ``good-bye!,'' these are signals kids need to know. --Lynnea McBurney, Woodstone Elementary School, San Anotonio, TX
This cheerful addition to Gibbons' nonfiction bookshelf explores many of the signs and signals that we use to communicate without spoken words. Smoke and mirrors are just two of such ways to communicate. Doorbells, flashing railroad crossing lights, flares, flags, hand gestures, whistles, sirens, car horns, and the Morse code all send messages for people to see or hear. In addition to historical incidents, such as the lantern signal in Boston that sent Paul Revere on his ride, this book mentions everyday signals that we should know and too often take for granted. Above the boxed text, brightly colored drawings clearly illustrate the meaning that a signal is communicating. Color bars at the top and bottom of each page add to the crisp, clean format. This handsome volume will be a strong addition to communication units, and it may surprise readers by its demonstration of the vast number and variety of messages that we communicate daily without ever opening our mouths.