Out of the Way! Out of the Way!

Out of the Way! Out of the Way!

Written by: Krishnaswami, Uma
Illustrated by: Krishnaswamy, Uma
ages 4 to 7 / grades P to 2

Selected for the USBBY Outstanding International Book List

A young boy spots a baby tree growing in the middle of a dusty path in his village. He carefully places rocks around it as the local mango seller rushes past shouting, "Out of the way! Out of the way!" As the tree grows bigger, people and animals traverse the path until it becomes a lane, flowing like a river around the tree— getting out of its way. Over time, the lane becomes a road, and a young man crossing the road with his children remembers the baby tree from long ago. By the time he is an old man, the tree has become a giant. The city traffic continues to rattle past, noisier and busier than ever, but sometimes the great tree works its magic, and people just stop, and listen.

In this simple, lyrical story, a wide-spreading tree and a busy road grow simultaneously, even as time passes and the footsteps of people and animals give way to speeding cars, buses and trucks. The illustrations, in pen-and-ink with vibrant blocks of color, have a classic folk-art feel.

The author and illustrator, who really do share the same name (except for the last letter!), have always wanted to do a book together.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.2
With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7
Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.5
Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

Selected for the USBBY Outstanding International Book List

A young boy spots a baby tree growing in the middle of a dusty path in his village. He carefully places rocks around it as the local mango seller rushes past shouting, "Out of the way! Out of the way!" As the tree grows bigger, people and animals traverse the path until it becomes a lane, flowing like a river around the tree— getting out of its way. Over time, the lane becomes a road, and a young man crossing the road with his children remembers the baby tree from long ago. By the time he is an old man, the tree has become a giant. The city traffic continues to rattle past, noisier and busier than ever, but sometimes the great tree works its magic, and people just stop, and listen.

In this simple, lyrical story, a wide-spreading tree and a busy road grow simultaneously, even as time passes and the footsteps of people and animals give way to speeding cars, buses and trucks. The illustrations, in pen-and-ink with vibrant blocks of color, have a classic folk-art feel.

The author and illustrator, who really do share the same name (except for the last letter!), have always wanted to do a book together.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.2
With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7
Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.5
Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Apr 1, 2012
Specifications 28 pages | 7.875 in x 11 in 28 pages | 7.875 in x 11 in
Written By

UMA KRISHNASWAMI was born in India and now lives in Victoria, British Columbia. Her other publications include Two at the Top, illustrated by Christopher Corr; Book Uncle and Me, winner of the ILA Social Justice Literature Award, illustrated by Julianna Swaney; and The Girl of the Wish Garden, illustrated by Nasrin Khosravi. She has been nominated twice for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Uma teaches Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Illustrated by

UMA KRISHNASWAMY divides her time between illustrating picture books and teaching Art and Design aesthetics to young adults. She has illustrated many books, including A Dollop of Ghee and a Pot of Wisdom by Chitra Soundar, Dancing on Walls by Shamim Padamsee and The Boastful Centipede and Other Creatures in Verse by Zai Whitaker. She enjoys mixing styles of art from all over the world, but her main inspiration comes from India’s rich arts and crafts tradition. She lives in Chennai, India.

Audience ages 4 to 7 / grades P to 2
Reading Levels Lexile AD740L
Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.2
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.5

Commended, USBBY Outstanding International Book List, 2013

Commended, United Nations SDG Book Club Reading List Selection, 2020