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BUILDING by Elisha Cooper

BUILDING

By Elisha Cooper

Pub Date: April 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-688-16494-3
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

Cooper (Ballpark, 1998, etc.) once again takes a familiar sight and infuses it with a squiggly magic as he ebulliently illustrates how a vacant lot is transformed by construction. The architect comes with her blueprints to a lot full of trash and weeds. A backhoe follows, and big trucks delivering materials and digging out stuff. Then the workers come, with mortar that looks like “a big tub of oatmeal” and concrete that “smells like chalk.” They fetch and carry and measure things off, and they eat fried chicken and call home. Cooper piles on numerous small images of workers hammering and hauling toilets and wedging insulation, often opposite a full-page image of the building as it slowly takes form and shape, filling the vacant lot. The lines of text come at right angles and bend around machinery as Cooper tells about a worker “with hands and arms so big they could juggle trucks” and another “with two braids” who repeats a joke to her co-worker, who repeats it to the worker above him. The pictures are fascinating and informative; readers will come away with a real understanding of how a building comes into existence. (Picture book. 4-9)