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Reviews for The Bridge Is Up!
(Published in 2004 by HarperCollins)

Publisher's Weekly

Because of the titular circumstance, "the bus can't go" -- and neither can six other vehicles, each of which shows up in turn with an animal operator at the helm. "So everyone has to wait," writes [Hajdusiewicz] ([author of] the Dainty Dinosaur beginning readers series), in what becomes the cumulative story's refrain. Notwithstanding the clear blue sky and endearingly ingenuous spring landscape, which appears to be rendered in gleeful blended swoops of crayon and chalk, idling is no one's idea of fun. The animals grip their steering wheels (or handlebars) in resignation and stare into space. [Hajdusiewicz] and Hefferan (Do You Have My Quack?) don't try to distract readers from the stasis of their premise. In fact, the pictures emphasize it by alternating between just two perspectives: a side view of the line of vehicles when a new one pulls up, and a head-on view of the entire group (Hefferan cheats the perspective, in keeping with his naif style). But readers won't be in the least bit bored -- thanks to the unusually fresh, cheerful pictures, they'll enjoy watching the line build. When the bridge finally does go down and "nobody has to wait!" the meaning is clear: Sometimes, all there is to do is wait -- but it's not too painful, and it doesn't last forever. © 2004 Reed Business Information


Fun to read aloud, this cumulative picture book tells what happens when a bridge goes up. One after another, vehicles arrive at the water's edge. The bus can't go, the car can't go, the bike can't go, the truck can't go, the motorcycle can't go... well, you get the idea... so everyone has to wait. Young children who have trouble waiting for most anything, will enjoy seeing the increasing impatience of animal characters who want to get a move on and their satisfaction when the bridge descends and traffic starts up again. Like the animals' moods, the colors in the artwork seem a bit drab until the bridge goes back down; then the sky lightens to sunny colors, and the drivers and passengers all cross the river. With a childlike air that suits the simple text, the illustrations have a great sense of activity and motion, even when traffic is stopped. Great fun for young children. -- Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal

In this delightfully simple cumulative tale, a drawbridge is raised and a bus must wait to cross. A car, a bike, a truck, a motorcycle, a bulldozer, and a tractor-all driven by various animals-soon join the line. As each new vehicle arrives, the text lists all of them again, along with the refrain, "-so everyone has to wait." When the bridge is finally lowered, the vehicles rumble across and the phrase changes to "Now nobody has to wait!" Hefferan's pastels are colorful and lively, and the creatures' impatient facial expressions add to the humor. Vehicle-obsessed youngsters will demand repeat readings. Add this to Byron Barton's My Car (Greenwillow, 2001) and Don Carter's Get to Work Trucks! (Roaring Brook, 2002) for a storyhour that will go places. -- Rachel G. Payne, New York Public Library © 2004 Reed Business Information

Kirkus Reviews

This enthusiastic read begins, "The bridge is up! The bus can't go, so everyone has to wait." Following the bus and joining the queue come various modes of transport, from a bike to a bulldozer. Each vehicle is tacked on to the end of the refrain, building repetition. When the bridge finally descends, everything is repeated again, only this time, the bus can go! Hefferan's illustrations have cottony edges with an oil-base crayon vibrancy to the colors. The drivers and passengers, animals all, are expressive and charming. The font is expansive and jaunty, part and parcel with the artwork... Children will enjoy identifying the vehicles and watching the bicycle-riding monkey wander about before joining the motorcyclist. Whether to a crowd of one or many, this read-aloud is sure to be a pleaser.