A little boy joins his father at a construction site
Publishers WeeklyThe jaw-dropping, photo-realistic paintings make this book, from the team behind Karate Hour, as essential to any young construction fan as a toy tool-belt. The lucky boy narrator gets to tag along with his father, a member of the crew that's building the neighborhood's new school. Wearing his very own hardhat, the boy gets a treasured insider's view of the building's progress: "At noon, horns toot-toot! The crew needs to eat./ Dad lets me climb up in the earthmover's seat!" Throughout, Nevius's simple, incisive rhymes capture what's salient from a kid's point of view. On the eve of opening day, for instance, the narrator admires his reflection in the shiny new floors and notes, "The teachers have meetings. Dad's last workers rush./ Our waxed floors are gleaming. The toilets all flush." But it's Thomson's magnificent acrylics, rendered in a tight palette of blues (for denim and the summer sky), yellows and oranges, that give this book its standout status. The artist literally wants his audience to look at construction scenes from a new angle, setting his compositions on a vertical axis. Hence he places readers at the back of the unloading dump truck as the rocks tumble down, and at the end of the cement mixer's shoot, where the "gray glop" drops. This format, combined with Thomson's dramatically foreshortened framing and perspectives make for an experience that's both larger than life and deliciously dizzying. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Melissa HowerIn this realistic picture book, a son heads off to work with his dad to watch as his dad builds his new school. Each phase of construction is portrayed as various construction vehicles are utilized to finish the job in time for the first day of school. A backhoe, dump truck, cement truck, and many more machines are used in the building process. When the job is done, the son is proud that he and his dad were a part of this special project. The rhyming verse and beautiful illustrations make this book a must have for any child interested in trucks and construction. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to the American Library Association's Hurricane Katrina fund.
School Library JournalPreS-Gr 2-In spare, rhyming text, a boy and his father, a builder, explore the site of the child's new school. Wearing hard hats, they watch throughout the year as the bulldozer clears the field and the cement mixer pours the foundation, etc., until the building is ready for the first day of classes. Bold acrylic and colored-pencil pictures give the oversize book great appeal-it opens from the bottom up, and the striking illustrations are done from the boy's perspective looking up at the huge machines. The boy concludes, "And when I'm a grown-up, I hope I will be/a builder like Dad with a helper like me!" The book will be enthusiastically welcomed by youngsters fascinated with construction and big machines. It is also an engaging father/son story.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsStunning, photo-realistic paintings entice the reader to pore over the vertical pages in this father-and-son construction venture. The paintings are so illuminative that the rhythmic text seems somewhat redundant. Over several months, son, Dad and the other builders work their way through the assemblage of what is revealed to be a new elementary school. It begins as the youngster rides astride his father's shoulders, the winter sun gleaming coolly on the snow dusting the earth. "Let's go for a ride," says father. "We'll check the construction to make sure it's right." Breaking ground, bulldozers descend, seemingly from a dizzying height. Trenches are dug, Dad's giant grader smoothes, cement is poured and pipes are welded. While father works the site, his son observes, lending the occasional hand. At last the project is complete, the floors are waxed and it's the first day of school. The story is engrossing on many levels to young builders, and the inspiring perspectives and sheer beauty of the artwork will captivate children and adults alike. (Picture book. 3-6)
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