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West Midlands - Road safety with some pluck

Why did the chicken cross the road? To teach Sandwell pupils a lesson in road safety.

A new book, How Did the Chicken Cross the Road?, to be published later this term, tells the story of Norman, a schoolboy who meets a chicken attempting to cross the road. Realising - somewhat counterintuitively - that the chicken is the newest pupil to start at his school, Norman introduces her to the lollipop lady, and teaches her to cross the road safely.

The latest book follows on from The Green Man and the Case of the Missing Stripes, a road safety manual produced by Sandwell Council last year. The Green Man has been distributed to Year 1 children across the borough and tells the story of a zebra crossing that decides to go on strike, in protest at being trampled over all day. "Some people are really heavy, and others have smelly feet!" he protests. "I don't like it!"

It has been taken up by local authority road safety units across the country, and has sold 17,000 copies nationwide.

Both stories were written by Sandwell road safety officer Jo Hodgson and illustrated by children's artist Mark Beech, whose other books include Sir Bigwart the Brave and Trolls on Hols. AB

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