Nikki Slade Robinson, The Roadman Boogie, Starfish Bay Children’s Books, June 2016, 40pp., $25.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781760360146
The weather might be wild, the work might be dull, but your day is what you make it – so the roadman makes his own fun. Set on a dreary construction site on a day of torrential rain, The Roadman Boogie is a fun tale of making the best of a bad situation. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, the roadman allows music from passing cars to add a new shade of colour to the grey-palette day. Whether the beat is fast or the tempo slow, the Roadman knows the best dance to make his feet go-go-go! The waiting traffic adore his moves as his dance steps bring sunshine to the otherwise gloomy day.
Miss Six and I adored the flow of this narrative and the cadence of the words. As we read it, we couldn’t help but groove along with the roadside boogie. The combination of rhyming patterns and alliteration add to the enjoyment of the story.
The illustrations blend photographs, paint and pencil and cleverly convey the feel of a wild and wet day. Though each page is grey with heavy rain clouds, Robinson’s illustrations bring joy through bursts of colour.
A tale of perspective, The Roadman Boogie paves the way for a dialogue with children about how we choose to see situations and the impact a little positivity can have. Lots of fun to read, The Roadman Boogie is recommended for children ages four to seven.
Reviewed by Fiona Miller-Stevens