Red Light, Green Light

Red Light, Green Light

Red Light, Green Light e-book
by Anastasia Suen (Author) and Ken Wilson-Max (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Roll into one little boy’s make-believe traffic world, filled with flashing lights, zooming cars, whirring helicopters, and racing fire engines. He’s turned records into rotaries, shoe boxes and books into highway ramps, crayons into lane markers, and dandelions into trees. It’s a world where imagination rules and creativity abounds.

Red light, stop.
Green light, go.

Cars and trucks
drive to and fro.

Author’s Note:
It’s the 10th anniversary of my picture book, Red Light, Green Light and the e-book has just been updated! Hooray!

Here’s the short version of the long story…

I sold this book in 1999 and it came out in 2005. It was on the final Gulliver Books list and then that imprint of Harcourt was closed. A few years later, Harcourt was sold and then the company that bought them, Houghton Mifflin, went into bankruptcy. After the new Houghton Mifflin Harcourt came out on the other side, they re-organized several times.

In the middle of all this change, Red Light, Green Light was converted to an e-book. It was still the early days of e-books and I’m sorry to say that the conversion was not a success. There were extra words on top of the art and the art itself moved up and down as you “turned” the pages. But all of the people that I worked with on this book were long gone, so my efforts to get the e-book fixed went nowhere for a long time. In May I tried again and a very friendly customer service representative said she would talk to her manager…and it worked! On June 1st an email came saying that the book was being remade. Three weeks later, the e-book files were¬†updated on Amazon, Google Play, and iTunes!

For me, this is a summer book because of driver’s ed. That’s when my two teens took it (and so did I, lo-o-o-o-ng ago.) I wrote this book because of the 100 hours of required driving practice. I was sitting on the passenger’s side of the car pressing my foot on that imaginary brake at each intersection…making my new drivers crazy! (Mom!!!) The book dedication reads: “For my two new drivers, it feels like just minutes ago that you were driving toy cars.”

STEM + the Arts = STEAM

STEAM DIY Activity

Make my Traffic Light Necklace Craft.


red, green, and yellow yarn
black construction paper
red, green, and yellow dots (I used 3/4″ dots from Office Depot)
glue stick

Directions (before the kids arrive):

1) Cut the yarn in to 36″ lengths.

2) Gather the yarn into triple strands (one red, one yellow and one green for each child.)

3) Cut the black construction paper in strips. (I used 9×12″ paper so I cut the 12″ side into 2″ strips. Each strip was the 2″ wide and 9″ long.

4) Fold each black strip in half to make a tent. (Now it’s 2″ wide and 4 1/2″ tall.)

Directions (after the kids arrive):

5) Put the yarn inside the black paper “tent” and center it so approximately 18″ of yarn extends out on each side.

6) Rub glue on the inside of the tent. Then press the paper tight so the glue holds.

7) Place a green dot, a yellow dot, and a green dot on the black paper. Green is Go! Yellow is Slow! Red is Stop! Now you have a traffic light!

8) Tie the ends of the yarn into a bow. Now put the bow over the child’s head. It’s a traffic light necklace!

poetry friday

This week’s Poetry Friday Round-up is hosted by Mainely Write.

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