A knock-down knockout in more ways than one.

CONSTRUCTION SITE MISSION: DEMOLITION!

From the Construction Site series

Why should the act of construction get all the fun? Time to break it all down.

The beloved characters from Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld (2011), return for yet another outing, this time delving deep into the process of destruction. An old building needs to come down, and the trucks are more than eager to oblige. Everyone plays a part: the crane wielding the wrecking ball, the excavator bashing in walls, the little skid steer breaking rocks apart. Unlike many other books about demolitions, this one takes time after every destructive sequence to note that as materials are wrenched asunder, they’re also sorted for recycling purposes. After a hard day’s work, it’s only natural that it end with the vehicles bedding down after, “Another good day. Now, goodnight.” Expect established fans to thoroughly enjoy both the familiar faces (like the excavator, crane, and dump truck) as well as newer types (like the front-end loader); readers new to the series will likely want to seek out earlier volumes. Ideal as a read-aloud, the rhyming text offers plenty of chances for adult readers to accentuate the onomatopoeia—“KA-BOOM!”; “SMASH!”; “Honk! Honk! Roar!”; and more—for their enthralled tykes. As with previous books in the series, there are both male and female trucks, though the “he”s outnumber the “she”s, and there are no clearly identified nonbinary trucks. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.8-inch double-page spreads viewed at 26.7% of actual size.)

A knock-down knockout in more ways than one. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-8257-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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An A+ for Little E and his creator.

LITTLE EXCAVATOR

A petite excavator named Little E finds his place among a crew of full-sized, heavy-construction equipment working together to build a park.

The anthropomorphic Little E, with bright, friendly eyes and a cheery smile, invites readers into the story on the large-format cover. He is followed by a brown-and-white–spotted dog, which appears throughout the story as a friend to Little E. The construction vehicles arrive at an abandoned lot and begin working together to transform the property into a park. The rollicking, rhyming text names each type of rig and its function, including lots of sound effects and action verbs set in display type integrated into the illustrations: “Pusha-pusha smusha-smusha SMASH SMASH SMASH!” Little E tries to help with each step, but he is either too small or not strong enough for the task at hand. The last step of the park-construction project is the planting of a tree on an island reached by a bridge, but all the big rigs are too large to safely cross the wooden bridge. In a pitch-perfect conclusion, Little E is just the right size for the job. Dewdney, the late author/illustrator of the Llama Llama series, has constructed a solid winner for one of her final books, with an appealing main character, vibrant illustrations with varying perspectives, and an action-packed, rhyming text with sound effects just begging to be read aloud with dramatic effect.

An A+ for Little E and his creator. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-99920-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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