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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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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Preschoolers enamored with construction equipment will enjoy this cheerful tale, which is simple enough for little ones just...

DALMATIAN IN A DIGGER

Four animals with heavy construction equipment arrive to build a treehouse as a surprise for a Dalmatian puppy.

The puppy awakens to loud, unexpected sounds and a foreshadowing glimpse of a big, metal scoop outside the bedroom window. The puppy joyously discovers an adult Dalmatian driving an excavator, called a “digger” in this British author/illustrator’s text. Just a couple of brief sentences describe the action of the digger, punctuated with creative sound effects incorporated into the illustrations in collage-effect letters. Another set of loud sounds precedes the arrival of a camel in a crane, followed by a duck in a dump truck, and a bear in a bulldozer. Each new piece of equipment has its own set of exuberant sounds that relate loosely to the machine’s function, such as “DUMP, SPLAT, CRASH” for the dump truck. The patterned text uses the machines’ sounds as a predictive device, with a dramatic page turn to reveal the next animal and corresponding construction equipment. Bold, movement-filled illustrations create a buoyant atmosphere, with jaunty animal characters and bright flowers and trees surrounding the construction site. There’s a bit of a logic gap between the heavy equipment and the concluding treehouse, as there are no carpenters shown building the actual house. Another small drawback is the gender bias in the four animal equipment drivers, as only one is identified as female; the puppy’s gender is not specified.

Preschoolers enamored with construction equipment will enjoy this cheerful tale, which is simple enough for little ones just transitioning into real stories. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62370-802-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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