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by Don Carter & illustrated by Don Carter

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7613-1543-8
Publisher: Roaring Brook

Saturated paint that looks as though it was applied with a shovel—a shovel wielded with considerable dexterity, it should be mentioned—is laid on foam board and plaster to produce a visually joyous celebration of big equipment for young children just being introduced to the picture-book format. Carter’s (See You Soon, Moon, 2001, etc.) images have the plasticity of Gumby and feel very much right there on the page, while his text provides an incantatory thrum to fill the activity with primal purpose: “The loader lifts a big rock. The digger digs a hole. And the bulldozer fills a hole.” Can’t get much more basic than that—and the best trucks are all here at the building site: dump trucks, tow trucks, cranes, rollers, and cement mixers. This is down-on-your-knees stuff, pushing around in the muck, but with the added payoff that you are probably sitting in a chair with a kid going broooom-vroooom as you turn the pages, rather than giving your knees a workout. There are even a few easy visual tricks that Carter has hidden in the illustrations, adding the ever-popular treasure-hunt aspect, plus just a touch of counting, to supplement the modest text. Busy, bright, and fun, with lots of opportunities to insert big-engine noises. (Picture book. 2-5)