Fascinated by its big machines, Sam spends his days peering into a construction site.
The young lad wonders whether he’ll ever get his hands on the steamroller and the cement truck, wondering longingly, “What if I could drive those machines?” Each time the construction workers eat lunch, the boss tasks Sam with two big responsibilities: he must stay at the gate and prevent anyone from entering the site and call the police if anyone does. During lunchtime one day, two older kids tease Sam and convince him to enter the construction site just as a suspicious car with shadowy occupants passes nearby. “All right,” says Sam. “I’ll go in, but then you must call the police.” Through a strong union of words and pictures, Veldkamp and Hoogstad construct an understated, slyly subtle narrative full of joy and charm. Once Sam enters the construction site, he sets off a string of seemingly bewildering actions. He flattens the mysterious car, pours concrete in front of the local bank, and uses the crane to lift up the police car on its way. The illustrations—figures and machinery constructed with smooth, rounded lines and brush strokes of color—contrast nicely against white backdrops. Here the book’s tall portrait orientation provides ample space for Sam’s antics, which put an end to a bank robbery. Sam, it turns out, is a hero. All the characters, robbers included, in this Dutch import are white.
Readers will surely enjoy a few visits to this construction site. (Picture book. 3-8)