Vehicles from the popular Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site (2011) are up-and-at-’em in a new title focused on industry and teamwork.
As in its companion title, rhyming text follows a fleet of anthropomorphic construction vehicles from one detail-rich spread to the next. This time they’re working together to erect an elaborate building—so large and complex that they call in friends to help. Compositions including simultaneous succession (a series of pictures of the same character on one spread) and superimposed panel illustrations help to organize and pace the progression of the story. Two of the vehicles are identified with feminine pronouns (Skid Steer and Flatbed Truck); happily, Lichtenheld eschews the tired, stereotyped girls-with-eyelashes convention. Multiple trucks display tough-looking underbites, but the warm colors and mottled effect lent by Lichtenheld’s oil pastels keep the overall vibe comfortably soft. By the book’s end, the text declares, “Cooperation got it done; / teamwork made it fast—and fun!”—but the completed building looks oddly incomplete. Is it supposed to be mostly made of glass? The black lines and open space suggest this, but this part of the illustration stands awkwardly out from the rest of the climactic, colorful illustration.
Sure to be a hit with fans of the prior title even if they wonder about that odd-looking building. (Picture book. 2-5)