Construction Zone

Overview

Caution! Construction zone ahead! Anyone who has ever stopped to watch a big building going up — and who hasn't? — will be thrilled by this behind-the-scenes look at an amazing construction project.

Put on your hard hat and step inside CONSTRUCTION ZONE! Young readers are invited to come on a virtual tour of a building in progress, led by award-winning photographer Richard Sobol. It takes hundreds of workers, thousands of trucks and machines, and millions of nails and bolts to ...

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Overview

Caution! Construction zone ahead! Anyone who has ever stopped to watch a big building going up — and who hasn't? — will be thrilled by this behind-the-scenes look at an amazing construction project.

Put on your hard hat and step inside CONSTRUCTION ZONE! Young readers are invited to come on a virtual tour of a building in progress, led by award-winning photographer Richard Sobol. It takes hundreds of workers, thousands of trucks and machines, and millions of nails and bolts to transform an idea on paper into an actual building in which people will live, play, shop, or work. Every single piece of the construction puzzle — big and small — must fit together flawlessly. With a clear, direct narrative and handy definitions of construction-related jobs, machines, and terms, Cheryl Willis Hudson distills this most complex of projects into language a young child can grasp. The building itself — the Stata Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank O. Gehry — is playful and colorful, sculpted to excite, delight, and surprise. Richard Sobol's vivid color photographs capture all the excitement of the busy construction site, while offering a close-up view of its breathtaking genius.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
From start to finish, the lively text and vivid full-color photographs detail the building of a Frank Gehry-designed building in Cambridge, MA. The dramatic photos are taken from a variety of angles and show both people working and materials being put in place. Well-designed pages feature brilliant orange, blue, or yellow backgrounds for text, allowing readers to refer to a bar of text defining those words. Exhortations ("Watch your step!," "Careful now!") encourage adults to remind readers to stay alert. There is more to talk about in the pictures than there are words in the text, a happy thing for multiple read-alouds. The final picture shows the finished building from an aerial view within its neighborhood setting, giving children one more thing to talk about. Does good architecture stand out or fit in? Why? Do not miss the dedication: you can ponder why the book is for "everyone in the world" except one hapless individual. It is a very "talkable" book on many levels. 2006, Candlewick Press, Ages 4 to 8.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-Large photographs of the construction of the MIT Stata Center in Cambridge, MA, are the core of this book. The simple text explains the process from the design by Frank O. Gehry to the completed building. Construction-zone activity, equipment, and jargon are pictured and explained. Caution tape frames the pictures and separates blocks of bright colors and text. Words in bold, such as "concrete" and "rebar," are defined and explained at the bottom of the page on which they appear. These explanations are indicated by orange diamond-shaped signs with a question mark, adding to the construction-zone feel. Children will be fascinated by both the picture story and the informative text. Adults will appreciate the photojournalist's note about his experience in documenting the three-year construction of this very unique building.-Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
With obvious reverence for his project, Sobol's photographs chaperone the young reader through a three-year construction project. The color images are varied in perspective, but each captures the action. "The construction zone," Hudson points out, "is like a giant puzzle," and together author and photographer, piece by piece, unveil the whole. Each page contains the definition of one or more emboldened words from the text providing for succinct, but copious information. The journey spans architectural plans, excavation, rebar and concrete to insulation and fixtures. Hudson lingers on every person involved, with obvious respect for those who hang from scaffolds or painstakingly lay wire. The finished product, in all its gleaming glory, is an elegantly curved and oddly angled Frank Gehry creation. Advanced for a toddler, but this read will be fascinating for the burgeoning builder. Only the penultimate photograph-of the finished structure-lacks the compositional beauty of the rest, but in every other respect this intriguing project gives an amazingly broad overview of the entire building process. (Nonfiction. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763626846
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 5/9/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 646,568
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.87 (w) x 10.96 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

CHERYL WILLIS HUDSON is the author of numerous books for children, including the popular AFRO-BETS® A B C BOOK, MANY COLORS OF MOTHER GOOSE, and HANDS CAN. She also has more than twenty-five years of experience in graphic design and art direction. In 1988, she and her husband, Wade Hudson, founded Just Us Books, a leading publisher of Black interest titles for young people. "Working on this book was fascinating and challenging," she says of CONSTRUCTION ZONE. "My job was to help choose the photos and match them with simple words that would explain a very complex process and answer the ‘building' questions that come from a child's point of view. But ultimately, Richard Sobol's expert journalistic eye provided the answers, because each of his photographs tells a wonderful story in itself."

RICHARD SOBOL, whose photographs have appeared in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, TIME, NEWSWEEK, LIFE, OUTSIDE, AUDUBON, WILDLIFE CONSERVATION, and numerous other magazines, has been a photojournalist for more than twenty- five years. For CONSTRUCTION ZONE, he spent three years observing and documenting the construction of MIT's Stata Center, designed by celebrated architect Frank O. Gehry. "I was usually on the site about twice a week," he says. "I loved walking on the scaffolding, learning to stay sure-footed and stable as buckets of masonry, mud, or lag bolts passed by me." This is Richard Sobol's first book with Candlewick Press.

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