HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Toad on the Road
Authors: Susan Schade
Illustrator: Jon Buller
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Reader, 2003
ISBN-13: 978-0679926894 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0679926895 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0679826897 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0679826890 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Schade, Susan. Toad on the Road (published in 1992 by Random House Books for Young Readers). “Where are we going? We don’t know. We don’t care. We just go!” say Toad and his friends as they take to the road in this freewheeling adventure about the joys of independence. The bug-eyed, polka-dot-clad toad sits behind the wheel of a vivid red “bug” with license plate T1. “Seat belt on? Here we go! Not too fast, not too slow.” As toad tools around town and country picking up friends, observing the rules of the road, and generally enjoying life, the car zips by a monster truck here, a Victorian mansion there, whizzes through a car wash, has a flat tire, and is stopped to eat. “Cat is hungry. Stop for lunch. Sip and slurp, Chew and munch.”
This is a “Step-Into-Reading, Step 2” early reader that we had for our older son Mark when he was learning to read so that he could have extra practice. With shades of Kenneth Graham’s Wind in the Willows, author Susan Schade’s rhymed and rhythmic text is appropriately simple and deftly silly. Illustrator Jon Buller’s full-color, cartoon-like artwork is lively and exudes good humor. The frisky animal cast will help to make learning to read a source of pure joy, and youngsters will be reading right along before they even realize it. The charming story and bright pictures have a wonderful, irresistible energy similar to the works of Dr. Seuss. At least, Mark, who liked Dr. Seuss, enjoyed it.