Reviews for Out of the Way! Out of the Way!

Booklist Reviews 2012 July #1
The almost-same-named author and illustrator also share a cheery tone in presenting this tale of a road and the tree that sprouts in the middle of it. Ignoring the repeated cries of annoyed passersby (see title), a young lad protects and guards the seedling until it grows large enough not only to have birds nest in it, but also to force the road itself to bend "out of its way, out of its way." Meanwhile, the road, initially just a narrow red ribbon winding through a busy jumble of small houses and simply drawn people in distinctive Indian dress, broadens and becomes a heavily-trafficked thoroughfare over the years. Krishnaswamy uses a crowded mix of outlined forms and broad daubs of greens and warm color to capture the growing bustle--but then closes with a view of the now-stately tree surrounded by empty space to go with her counterpart's suggestive observation that passing drivers sometimes "stop and stay a while . . . and listen." An evocative picture of time's passage, as well as a reminder of nature's value, in our modern lives. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
This look at urban development manages to stay cheery and upbeat as an Indian village grows into a city. Traffic of all kinds, animals, and people keep moving on the road past a small tree that grows through the decades and retains its importance as a meeting place. Traditional and contemporary imagery is artfully combined in black line drawings and swaths of bright colors.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 March #2
A boy in India sees a baby tree growing by the side of a dusty path, and, because he protects it, it flourishes throughout his lifetime despite the changes to the landscape around him. Krishnaswami's spare text tracks the tree's growth over time, with the titular refrain "Out of the way! Out of the way!" giving voice to those who hurry past it. Mixed-media pictures inspired by India's arts-and-crafts tradition depict the path turning into a lane, then a street, then a road, signaling the rapid development that transforms the landscape from a quiet, sleepy village into a busy town. Meanwhile, the boy grows into a man, and the tree becomes a meeting place for local people. The message to stop and smell the roses (or enjoy the tree) comes through effectively as spreads become more and more saturated with imagery that crowds out white space. Some readers may be unable to easily identify the boy who leads off the story from page to page, but the text seems less interested in following his character than on attending to the tree's particular role in providing a place of rest and beauty. And in that, it succeeds beautifully. A lovely, unique contribution. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 March #4

At the outset of this lighthearted account of life in an Indian village, a boy carefully places rocks around a baby tree growing in the middle of a path. "Out of the way! Out of the way!" a mango seller yells. Before long, that cry has new meaning: the tree has grown so big that people must swerve to avoid it. Ox-carts give way to cars. Machines come to pave the road, "sputtering their way carefully around the tree." Krishnaswamy's (And Land Was Born) naïf, folk-art figures crowd the pages, selling things and carrying huge loads on their heads, while birds dart and cows wander along. Krishna-swami's (The Grand Plan to Fix Everything) fanciful prose has an e.e. cummings feel (a crush of blobby vehicles goes "from here to there and back again"). The action can be hard to follow because it's so diffuse; the boy grows from a young man into a silver-haired grandfather, but he is not always the focus of the story's action. Still, it's a rare thing: a book about generations and growth that doesn't come across as preachy. Ages 4-7. (Apr.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 July

K-Gr 3--A boy finds a sapling on the dirt path that runs through his village in what appears to be India and protects it with a ring of stones. As the tree grows, villagers reroute the path around it, while bikers and oxcart and motor scooter drivers cry, "Out of the way! Out of the way!" The tree continues to grow, providing a home for animals and a meeting place for people beneath its branches. A city grows beyond the village, the dirt path becomes a paved road for cars and trucks, the boy becomes a man with his own children. Through the years, people learn to carry on their activities "out of the way" of the tree rather than sacrificing it to make way for themselves. They even take time, occasionally, from rushing "from here to there and back again" to sit under it and listen to the old stories. Krishnaswamy's charming folk-art illustrations, executed in mixed media, combine black-and-white drawings with blocks of color. Alert readers will notice that many of the orange outline drawings on the endpapers are echoed throughout the book, in color or in pen and ink. The road cuts through every page, either in a continuous stretch or as winding patches carrying people's footprints as they circumvent the tree. There is much to see and enjoy in the small paintings and drawings that make up each scene. This delightful story illustrates how tradition and modern progress can coexist in a way that benefits everyone.--Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT

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