The team behind And If the Moon Could Talk (1998) relates what happens one night when Alex achieves his wish to go to work with Papa, a nighttime engineer on a construction site. Donning their hard hats, the two "men" leave quietly so Mama can sleep. They see other night workers—street sweeper, deliveryman, policewoman—as they head for the site, where "stars shine like beacons for the night workers." Alex waves back at the giant, airborne arm of an excavator, hears a cement mixer hum as it pours foundation concrete, watches a crane move its heavy load overhead, then gets exciting hands-on experience driving a yellow loader. At break, when "all motion is stopped like a held breath," it's time for a weary boy to head home through still more night people—couple under a streetlight, woman walking her dog—and go to bed, where his dreams expand his night's experience. This may be nighttime, but you wouldn't guess it from the golden light flooding most of the full-bleed, full-spread illustrations, in which objects—including the machines beloved by little boys—are outlined in black so that vibrant hues are separate and distinct under harsh, artificial, nighttime light. The pictured warmth of the father-son relationship combines with restrained yet poetic text to make this "take your son to work night" a special one indeed. (Picture book. 2-6) Read full book review >
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