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by Laura Godwin ; illustrated by Julian Hector

Pub Date: May 7th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-368-01817-3
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

As this book opens, a construction worker gears up to start her day.

She and her crew operate heavy equipment, jackhammers, and other power tools as they build a skyscraper. The hubbub on the site is broken down into rhyming units of activity with a “House That Jack Built” beat: “This is the scaffold / that reaches the sky. / This is the clang / and the bang / and the cry—.” At the end of the productive day, the tired workers jump into their crew-cab pickup and carpool home. Unfortunately, Godwin’s verses waver from snappy to tongue-tripping: “This is the grind of the gears / and the smell of the diesel and oil. / These are the shouts and the cheers. / This is the sound of the toil.” Hector’s illustrations depict a diverse crew (the protagonist has brown skin and fluffy black hair) and showcase enough heavy equipment to give young construction buffs a charge. However, his details are at odds with reality. The story opens with the first four floors of a high-rise in progress, but at the end of the day there are 19 stories! One scene shows workers hammering nails into what appear to be steel vertical beams—a miracle if they succeed. The building is slowly going up, but a worker is inexplicably using a jackhammer on one of the newly poured slabs.

Nevertheless, if strictly factual representation of the actual construction process isn’t important, the hard-hatted action should please aficionados.

(Picture book. 4-6)