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THE TOP JOB by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel


by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel & illustrated by Robert Neubecker

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: July 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-525-47789-1
Publisher: Dutton

Emma’s father searches for UFOs; Elizabeth’s mother’s a jeweler; Aidan’s mother’s a NASCAR driver—but this story’s unnamed protagonist’s father changes light bulbs. Huh? Calmly ignoring her teacher’s attempt to turn to Spelling Is Spectacular after the Career Day presentations, she goes on to describe the job she helped him with just last weekend: He got his light-bulb changing gear (which includes climbing harness), took her up to the 102nd floor, went out the hatch and up the antenna. . . . Kimmel includes exactly the right factoids to keep young readers glued to the account, such as the necessity of turning off all the TV and radio stations that broadcast via the Empire State Building while its light bulb is being changed, and the exact distance (1,453 feet and 8 9/16 inches) from the tippy-top to the ground. Neubecker’s illustrations, while rather stiff in the classroom, come to life in the depiction of the incredible climb, as he peppers his backgrounds with flying saucers and imagines King Kong reading by the light of the newly changed bulb. Fizzy, fascinating and eminently kid-friendly. (Picture book. 5-8)