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by Lynn Meltzer & illustrated by Carrie Eko-Burgess

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8050-8884-7
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

A rollicking, rhyming salute to a construction crew and the equipment they use to demolish an old building and construct a family home in its stead.

Preschool teacher Meltzer knows what children want, and she delivers with a debut that allows them to participate in the reading fun. Using the rhymes and visual clues, listeners are sure to be shouting the answers aloud: “This old building’s / Ready to fall / What do we need? / WRECKING BALL!” From excavator and bulldozer to backhoe, dump truck and cement mixer, the rhymes hold up until the very last page (depending on individuals’ pronunciation of “poem”). Once the big equipment’s finished, the crew breaks out the hammer and nails, a cherry picker, a power drill, extension ladders and, at last, the moving truck that signals the final product. Eko-Burgess’ simple shapes and sparse details suit the intended preschool audience, while the vibrant colors and up-close views make this a good choice for read-alouds, despite the smallish trim size. And while the rather cookie-cutter oval-faced crew lacks personality, they are representative of several ethnicities, genders and ages.

Bulldoze a spot on the shelf for this one. (Picture book. 2-5)