If I Crossed the Road

Stephen Kroninger, Author Atheneum Books $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-689-81190-6
In Kroninger's debut picture book, blacktop may pose a physical boundary to the wishful narrator, but it's no barrier to his imagination. ""My mom says I'm too little to cross the road by myself,"" the boy says. ""But I'm not too little to THINK about it."" He envisions the adventures that await him, from shooting a basket across a two-page spread over the heads of a tangle of tall guys to visiting his cowboy guitar-playing grandpa to aiming an underwater telescope at an octopus and seahorses. The bare-bones text contrasts with diverting collages, formed from abstract patches of construction paper and photos from glossy magazines. The boy's cap of straight blond hair is a half-circle cut from a model's mane, while his eyes are black ovals and his T-shirt a striped square of fabric. Declaring ""When I got bored/ I'd go somewhere...,"" he rides aboard a rocket of silver paper and jagged orange flames that leads to the next spread, ""to get ice cream,"" where a green alien serves him a three-scoop cone, topped with snipped-out cherries and peanut sprinkles. Kroninger's ebullient artistic style (which adults may recognize from Time magazine covers or galleries) lends an imaginative twist to a universal childhood theme. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Children's
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