Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Preschool and primary grade children will love this engaging guessing game of familiar occupations. The title page presents a pastoral scene of houses and out buildings that serves as a clue to the jobs within. Rhyming couplets and items on the clothesline hint at a job that is revealed on the following page. A uniform, cap, and bag of letters on the first page lead to a double page spread of a mail carrier on her route. Other occupations unveiled are farmer, chef, artist, carpenter, fire fighter, and astronaut with women in the less traditional roles of carpenter and fire fighter. Children will quickly notice the mail carrier in each of the reveals as she delivers invitations to a lunch party at the end. There is plenty of crisp white background to allow the bright, mixed media illustrations to stand out. This would serve as an excellent introduction to a unit on community workers. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Children will be thinking about what job they would like to have after meeting the friendly workers in this picture book. Seven people have uniforms drying on their clotheslines. On one spread, a paint-stained shirt hangs next to a beret. On another, coveralls and gloves hang above a scattering of tools, and, in another, a long hose is draped over the line supporting a pair of suspenders and heavy pants. After the clothing and equipment are identified in two short rhyming sentences, children are asked to guess the job each man or woman holds. The answer is revealed when readers turn the page and see the worker in the uniform and using the tools. At the end of the book, the characters come together for a "Launch Party" for the astronaut. This ending will come as no surprise to children who noticed the busy mail carrier. Full-spread illustrations (digitally manipulated pencil and mixed-media drawings) depict happy, productive people working indoors and out. An assortment of birds and an inquisitive cat add interest to the pages.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada
Heling and Hembrook's clever conceit challenges children to analyze a small town's clotheslines to guess the job each of their owners does. Close-up on the clothesline: "Uniform and cap, / an invite for you. / Big bag of letters. / What job does she do?" A turn of the page reveals a macro view of the home, van and the woman doing her job, "She is a mail carrier." Indeed, she can be spotted throughout the book delivering invitations to all the rest of the characters, who gather at the end for a "Launch Party." The verses' rhymes are spot-on, though the rhythm falters a couple of times. The authors nicely mix up the gender stereotypes often associated with several of these occupations, making the carpenter, firefighter and astronaut women. But while Davies keeps uniforms and props pretty neutral (he even avoids U.S. mail symbols), he keeps to the stereotypes that allow young readers to easily identify occupations--the farmer chews on a stalk of wheat; the beret-wearing artist sports a curly mustache. A subdued palette and plain white backgrounds keep kids' focus on the clothing clues. Still, there are plenty of details to absorb--the cat with arched back that anticipates a spray of water, the firefighter who "lights" the rocket. Pair this with Leo Timmers' Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun. (Picture book. 3-6)
Read an Excerpt
Look at the clotheslines and see every clue!
Who uses these things for the jobs that they do?