Demolition

Overview

What's even more exciting to preschoolers than seeing big machines that build things? Watching the massive ones that tear them down!

Crush the stone. Crush the stone.
Chip and grind and munch.
Make new concrete from the old.
Whirr! Churr! Crunch!

From the huge crane with a swinging ball (crack! ) to the ...

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Overview

What's even more exciting to preschoolers than seeing big machines that build things? Watching the massive ones that tear them down!

Crush the stone. Crush the stone.
Chip and grind and munch.
Make new concrete from the old.
Whirr! Churr! Crunch!

From the huge crane with a swinging ball (crack! ) to the toothy jaws that ram the walls (thwock! ), this rambunctious demolition, reverberating with sound words, is guaranteed to have small kids rapt. Bright spreads showcase the gargantuan machines in all their glory, and a pictorial glossary explains what each one can do.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this follow-up to their 2008 Roadwork, Sutton and Lovelock savor the joys of creative destruction—in the most literal sense of the phrase—as a derelict building is torn down to make way for a playground. Once again, Sutton’s rhyming text has an imperative, chanting quality that’s a perfect fit with the subject matter: “Swing the ball. Swing the ball./ Thump and smash and whack./ Bring the top floors tumbling down./ Bang! CLANG! CRACK!” Lovelock sticks to largely schematic characterizations of his human crew so that he can focus on the machines themselves; an excavator chomps into a building (“Dinosaurs had teeth like this!”) while a crusher makes “new concrete from the old.” The bright red and yellow vehicles (which are also recapped in a glossary) pop out from the dappled and speckled blue-hued settings, and Lovelock’s crisp ink line delineates rivets, hydraulics, and heft. It’s clear that for all the pointing and switching and even driving that humans do, the real magic is in the ruthless efficiency with which these engineering marvels collide and gnaw into a hapless structure. Ages 3–5. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Sutton follows up Roadwork (Candlewick, 2008) with a sure-to-please title for construction-loving fans. Demolition depicts all the equipment and action necessary for knocking down an old building, "Whirr! Churr! Crunch!" to clear the way for the construction of a playground. At every phase of the destruction, mention is made of the recycling and repurposing of materials. The text is rife with onomatopoeic phrases and action verbs, making it great for reading aloud and building vocabulary. Lovelock's pigmented ink illustrations capture details about the machines—from treads to gears—in a style that is graphic and yet painterly. The geometric nature of the construction equipment offers another avenue for engaging children with the book. A picture glossary with simple facts about the function of each machine is appended. Pair this book with Jon Scieszka's Smash! Crash! (S & S, 2008), Eve Merriam's Bam Bam Bam (1995), and Denise Fleming's Alphabet Under Construction (2002, both Holt) for an animated storytime.—Amy Commers, South St. Paul Public Library, MN
Kirkus Reviews
Ode to a wrecking ball! And other heavy construction equipment. "Grab your gear. Grab your gear," begins the book, which offers 11 four-line verses in bold lettering, each in a two-page spread highlighting a different aspect of the demolition process. Workers get into their protective gear as the wrecking ball is moved into place: "Buckle, tie, and strap. / Safety jackets, boots and hats. / Zip! Stamp! SNAP!" The jaws of the excavator "Rip! Roar! CRASH!" And its basket works to "Ram the walls. Ram the walls." The mobile crusher grinds up broken concrete, and the industrial wood chipper shreds the wood: "Split and chop and chip." One verse is dedicated to loading the truck with debris, another to building playground equipment on the excavation site. The final lines--"Join the fun. Join the fun... / Hip...hip... HOORAY!"--depict happy people using the park that has been designed and built on the demolition site. A final illustrated page offers some concise "Machine Facts" on both the vehicles and some of their components. The onomatopoeia in Sutton's simple rhyming text is appealingly extreme, and it's like a natural for listener repetition, though the verses could be more distinct from one another. Lovelock's bright pictures--in ink, acrylic and colored pencil--are a solid match. Smashing good fun for preschoolers of both genders. (Picture book. 3-5)
From the Publisher
Sutton’s rhythmic text, full of onomatopoeia and muscular action words, captures the excitement and energy of big trucks hard at work and powerful machinery bashing concrete and metal. Lovelock’s meticulous illustrations, rendered in pigmented ink, give the job site a suitably dusty patina and put the equipment and vehicles center stage, where young fans will want them...This is all about as good as it gets for truck-obsessed preschoolers.
—The Horn Book (starred review)

The text is rife with onomatopoeic phrases and action verbs, making it great for reading aloud and building vocabulary. Lovelock’s pigmented ink illustrations capture details about the machines–from treads to gears–in a style that is graphic and yet painterly. The geometric nature of the construction equipment offers another avenue for engaging children with the book.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Smashing good fun for preschoolers of both genders.
—Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763658304
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 2/14/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 94,840
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Sally Sutton is a playwright and the author of Roadwork, also illustrated by Brian Lovelock, along with other picture books. Sally Sutton lives in New Zealand.

Brian Lovelock illustrated Roadwork by Sally Sutton as well as The Rain Train by Elena de Roo and Did My Mother Do That? by Sharon Holt. A geophysicist and fine artist, Brian Lovelock lives in New Zealand.

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