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Children's LiteratureBeginning with "A is for Aerial Lift," this book takes the young reader through the alphabet by naming objects used in construction. The illustrations are terrific and will attract the attention of toddlers, although the text is written at a level far beyond the preschooler just learning the alphabet. One entry reads, "L is for Laser. Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers project light in a straight line. They guarantee that tunnels, roads, buildings, and bridges are built perfectly straight." Quite a mouthful for the young reader or those reading to a toddler. There are familiar vehicles described, such as a dump truck and a cement mixer. There are also obscure items, such as a knuckleboom loader that would be known to few people outside of the construction industry. Despite all this, there is something jaunty in the tone of the text and that, added to those realistic illustrations, will keep many kids fascinated. 2006, Charlesbridge, Ages 4 to 10.
—Carolyn Mott Ford