Runaway Signs (Hardcover)

Runaway Signs By Joan Holub, Alison Farrell (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Joan Holub, Alison Farrell (Illustrator)
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When the road signs take a vacation, chaos and hilarity ensue--and they quickly learn how important they are.

School is ending for the summer, and the stick figures on the school crossing sign are jealous of all the vacation plans they hear the students making. The stick figures work hard--maybe they deserve a vacation, too! So they abandon their signpost and set off on an adventure, inviting along all the other underappreciated road signs they meet on the way. It's all fun and games for a while, especially when they stumble upon a fantastic amusement park. But the people they've left behind are feeling their absence, and soon there are traffic tangles and lost pedestrians everywhere. The signs are more important than they realized, and now it's time for them to save the day!

About the Author

Joan Holub (, a New York Times bestselling author, has written and/or illustrated over 150 children's books. She lives in North Carolina.

Alison Farrell ( wrote and illustrated Cycle City and The Hike, and has a BA in painting and an MSE in art education. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Praise For…

“Wry, pun-filled text. . . . Humorous illustrations depict the black silhouettes of newly liberated, ambulatory figures (a park ranger, hikers, a bear, road workers). Entire signs, like HAIRPIN TURN and ONE WAY sport sturdy white arms and legs. . . . This union of dialogue-rich text and panoramic representations of a diverse town provides a just-right balance between community-safety instruction and kid-appealing hijinks. Perfect for end-of-the–school-year read-alouds and good fun all year long.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Holub’s concise, satisfying narrative and the characters’ speech-balloon comments read aloud well. The story’s unspoken message, that everyone likes to be appreciated for what they do, is one that young children can appreciate. Capturing the joy of an unexpected holiday, Farrell contributes a series of wonderfully childlike gouache-and-ink illustrations that become increasingly chaotic, then resolve into order as the signs return to their posts. An appealing picture book for reading aloud.”—Booklist

“Along the streets that run by Sunnyside school, the signs are different. They might look the same as those of other towns, but these have a life of their own. . . . Gives young readers a detailed look at common street signs with an inventive story to highlight their importance.”—School Library Journal

“Farrell’s (The Hike) gouache and ink pictures portray a landscape that’s enchanted in a comically quotidian way—readers should get a kick out of watching familiar symbols scamper down the street, some of them sprouting cartoon arms and legs. Minimal narration by Holub (the Goddess Girls series) moves the story along, while dialogue balloons capture the signs’ devil-may-care attitude.”—Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9780399172250
ISBN-10: 0399172254
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2020
Pages: 32
Language: English