Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As the architects of this sunny, House That Jack Built-style cumulative rhyming tale, Lewis (Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo) and Cartwright (Mr. Potter's Pigeon) know what their readers want: construction, and lots of it. The narrator is a lucky boy who watches as an empty lot becomes a building site. The site then ends up being an apartment complex that houses a new friend. Lewis's rhymes stack up cleanly, with the evenness of well-laid bricks: "This is the shovel that backs with a beep/ and fills the dump truck with dirt from the heap/ on the side of the pit, all dusty and deep,/ that I saw through the hole/ that was made in the wall/ that was built by the workmen/ who came to the lot/ at the end of my block." With their bold geometry and sky-bright colors, Cartwright's pictures conjure the graphics of a billboard, emphasizing the site's interplay of curves and lines. They also pack in enough dirt and suggest enough detailing to satisfy young construction connoisseurs. The perpetual smiles on the four workers (all male) should strike readers as wholly appropriate as wellDafter all, for this book's fans, these men have the best job in the world. Ages 3-6. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
In a cumulative rhyme that echoes "This Is the House That Jack Built," kids follow a construction project in a young boy's neighborhood. A crew and their equipment transform the empty lot. Dump trucks and diggers remove dirt, bulldozers move rubble, cranes hoist girders, concrete mixers bring in their loads and together with the workmen, they build an apartment building. What does all of this construction bring? A new friend for the young boy to play ball with. The pictures are bold and clearly show the equipment and workers (too bad they are all white males). The text is fun to read and will test the breath control of adult readers. 2001, Hyperion, $16.49 and $14.99. Ages 3 to 6. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-In a rhyme that follows the pattern of "This Is the House That Jack Built," a young boy tells the story of how an empty lot is transformed into an apartment building. He first introduces the workmen, then the wall they build with a hole in it, and everything he observes through this window to their world. He introduces each piece of equipment, first the dump truck, then the bulldozer, crane, and finally the cement mixer. He explains how each one works as the building begins to rise, and as the building begins to grow, so does the amount of text on each page, through repetition, opposite the illustration. The bold primary colors create almost three-dimensional construction equipment, workers, and girders against the city skyline in fading degrees of cobalt to sky blue. And to top it off, the little boy gets a new buddy, a child who moves into the building.-Wanda Meyers-Hines, Ridgecrest Elementary, Huntsville, AL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read an Excerpt
This is the dump truck, moving dirt from a heap, On the side of the pit, all dusty and deep, That I saw through the hole That was cut in the wall That was built by the workmen Who came to the lot at the end of my block.
Author Biography: Kevin Lewis is the author of Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo and is an editor of children's books. Mr. Lewis in Greenwich Village, New York.