Playing It Safe: Street Smart Activities for Children


Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-458-97650-4




Illustrations by Carl Pickering
Reviewed by Jami van Haaften

Jami van Haaften is a librarian and author of An Index to Selected
Canadian Provincial Government Publications for Librarians, Teachers and


This workbook is a must for the teacher or parent who wants to expand on the theme “Don’t talk to strangers” but doesn’t quite know how. Designed for children aged 5 to 9, the book contains questions and answers, a quiz, and a crossword puzzle to encourage the child to think about and discuss street safety.

Barbara Hall is employed as a mental health counselor and is a graduate of the Child Care Worker program and a student of psychology at York University. Doug Hall has written eight books and has worked in broadcasting for 25 years. Illustrator Carl Pickering is a commercial artist with fourteen years’ experience. His simple sketches, which comprise about 80 per cent of the workbook, allow the child to colour in the pictures. The reader is introduced to Sandi and Andy and the neighbourhood they live in. The characters are presented in various situations and the reader is asked to second-guess what they should do and why. A stop-light is used to illustrate the three decision-making choices of “stop,” “go,” or “use caution.”

The discussion generated by this book, whether in the home or in the classroom, is necessary. The illustrator and authors have managed to treat a serious topic in a manner sure to be both understood and more importantly remembered by every child.


Hall, Barbara, and Doug Hall, “Playing It Safe: Street Smart Activities for Children,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 7, 2023,