Big-daddy and little-kid trucks of all kinds are busy at work on a construction site.
Holub uses rhyme—which is often forced—and repetition to create what is most likely intended to be an over-the-top interactive reading-aloud success. Some phrasing really works: “Excavator Big / helps little Vator dig. / They go scoop, scoop, scoop.” Others are not as impressive: “Backhoe Steady / waits for Hoe-Hoe to get ready. / They go trench, trench, trench.” Along the way, cranes reach, boom trucks crash, mixers pour and steamrollers pave. Each spread features Dean’s (Pete the Cat series) brightly hued vehicles—one huge and one tiny. They are always calmly working together. Each wears the exact same heavy-lidded expression, except when the day is done and it looks as though all the trucks are sleeping. Clearly a Dean trademark, this nevertheless comes across as a missed opportunity to visually engage readers and add some energy. Shouldn’t these dad-and-child pairs look like they’re having a good time together?
Sure to enjoy commercial success thanks to the marquee talent, this effort will result in more disappointment than enjoyment. (Picture book. 2-5)