- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Children's LiteratureBunting takes us back to the 1930s and the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. To Robert, our young narrator, it is his father's bridge, for he is one of the thousand workers, a "high-iron man," or "skywalker." Robert's friend Charlie Shu's father is a painter, a job Robert feels is not as important. The two friends watch as the "impossible bridge," as it was called, is being completed. One day, in an accident, Charlie's father is nearly lost, and Robert realizes how dangerous the jobs of both fathers are. Everyone celebrates the completion of the bridge. The boys have been working on a jigsaw puzzle picture of it, but one piece remains missing. Robert has saved it. He cuts it in half, so the two fathers can finish the puzzle together symbolically, as they have the bridge. Payne's naturalistic mixed-media illustrations work with the text to humanize the great engineering feat by focusing on the two families. There is a suggestion of Norman Rockwell realism, but it is less photographic, with the faces and features emphasized. As the hands of both fathers place the last piece in the puzzle, the scene is symbolic of the many workers on the bridge and the cross-cultural friendship of the families. A lengthy note fills in detailed background information about the famous bridge. 2006, Harcourt, Ages 5 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz