Lucky kids don hard hats to witness the construction behind the fence.
A supervisor explains the building process step by step, in both verse and longer paragraphs. First, a drilling rig digs a long thin trench around the entire site. Bars of steel go into the trench to form the bones of the new skyscraper. Next comes the concrete. “Pour, pour, pour! / Wet concrete / A line of mixers / Along the street,” reads the verse. In smaller type, the text explains, “It takes a lot of concrete to fill a trench. After one mixer empties out, the next one moves up so we can keep pouring.” More digging clears the earth inside. Suen carefully uses appropriate terminology in the prose portions. Under the dirt that remains is solid rock called bedrock. Long concrete piles are pounded into this bedrock to steady the building. The foundation consists of concrete poured over a rebar frame. Spread by spread, the building goes up as the multiracial crew works and multiracial kids look on. Finally, the kids stand on the street staring up at the new skyscraper, and the last page of the book unfolds up to reveal it. Suen’s rhymes will feel a little babyish to all but the youngest construction aficionados. Her plain text works better with O’Rourke’s Adobe Photoshop illustrations, multiple important components of each neatly labeled.
Crisply informative. (Informational picture book. 4-8)