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JACKHAMMER SAM by Peter Mandel


by Peter Mandel & illustrated by David Catrow

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59643-034-1
Publisher: Roaring Brook


Readers hear Jackhammer Sam before they see him. He’s "the sidewalk blasting man." To most, his choppa-chops are loud and obnoxious, but to him, it’s a sweet, sweet melody. As he blasts through concrete on sidewalks above and subways below, he invites readers to sing along: “ATTA-RATTA-BINGA-BONG. / ATTA-RATTA-MIGHT-BE-LONG. / ATTA-RATTA-PINGA-PONG. / ATTA-RATTA-DINGA-DONG.”  Filled with rhythmic onomatopoeia and pulsating beats, it’s no wonder Jackhammer Sam waltzes while he works. The roly-poly, lovable construction worker radiates joy, while everyone else around him jumps in surprise or winces in pain at the shattering noise. (Of course, per Catrow’s signature illustrative style, wide, bulging eyes abound.) Sam takes such pride in his work that he boasts, “My hammer broke th’ break of day. / My hammer drained the Milky Way.” Besides simply reveling in the rowdy beats, young readers should also glean that every job is important and if you love what you do, you’ll do it well.

An endearing ode to an oft–grumbled-about profession. (Picture book. 4-8)