Certainly, there is sufficient vocabulary to make this the Goodnight, Moon of construction books.

GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT, CONSTRUCTION SITE

LET'S GO!

From the Construction Site series

Heavy machinery explained, for lovers of heavy machinery.

This primer for aspiring readers with penchants for large, motorized construction rigs introduces five familiar vehicles that push, carry, lift, churn, and dig. A few lines of simple, rhymed text name each machine and describe its function opposite a succession of illustrated pages die-cut in the shapes of the larger and larger pieces of heavy equipment they depict. Each slightly anthropomorphized truck looks powerful yet friendly. Every illustration features four vocabulary words for specific parts of the vehicle in question. Toddlers learn to name bulldozers, dump trucks, cranes, cement mixers, and excavators as well as a few of the most prominent features of each, including treads, scoops, engines, cabs, hoppers, outriggers, and booms. Depending upon a child’s age and interest level, the book can be a quick read or an opportunity for pointing, naming, questions, and answers. Rhymed text appears on backgrounds of several varied hues. The illustrations, on the other hand, each share the same dark purple background. As the book contains no previous mention or depiction of sunlight or time of day, readers unfamiliar with the blockbuster picture book this is based on may be confused when the final rhyme announces nightfall. Nevertheless, a happily snoozing moon nestled in the scoop of an excavator should invite yawns and an easy transition to bedtime.

Certainly, there is sufficient vocabulary to make this the Goodnight, Moon of construction books. (Board book. 1-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-6476-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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A disappointing twist on a popular theme. More gimmick than engaging.

NOISY DIGGER

From the I Can Learn! series

This noisy board book is designed to thrill tots fascinated with all things construction.

A tactile backhoe digger is center stage on each of the five cutout pages, complete with flaps. Brief rhyming text describes the machine’s actions as it works throughout the day. Animal characters engaged in manual labor or operating other machinery—a bulldozer, crane, road roller, and dump truck—describe more work that goes on at a construction site in small speech bubbles. Finding the mouse in every scene adds to the fun. On each page, a little bird sporting a hard hat invites young builders to press various parts of the silicone digger to activate a range of distinct sounds. The digger’s track pad sounds different from the sound of its arm moving dirt. The problem is that the digger itself is passive; the track pad and arm don’t actually move. The machine stays in the same place on every spread. The caution light beeps but doesn’t light up. Savvy kids will quickly realize that all the sounds are accessible from the first spread without having to turn the pages. The sound is the most engaging part of the book, but with only five sounds, this feature won’t hold most youngsters’ attention for long.

A disappointing twist on a popular theme. More gimmick than engaging. (Novelty board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-684-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

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Smoother rides are out there.

BUSY STREET

From the Beginner Books series

Mommy and Bonnie—two anthropomorphic rodents—go for a joyride and notice a variety of conveyances around their busy town.

The pair encounter 22 types of vocational vehicles as they pass various sites, including a fire engine leaving a firehouse, a school bus approaching a school, and a tractor trailer delivering goods to a supermarket. Narrated in rhyming quatrains, the book describes the jobs that each wheeled machine does. The text uses simple vocabulary and sentences, with sight words aplenty. Some of the rhymes don't scan as well as others, and the description of the mail truck’s role ("A mail truck brings / letters and cards / to mailboxes / in people's yards) ignores millions of readers living in yardless dwellings. The colorful digitally illustrated spreads are crowded with animal characters of every type hustling and bustling about. Although the art is busy, observant viewers may find humor in details such as a fragile item falling out of a moving truck, a line of ducks holding up traffic, and a squirrel’s spilled ice cream. For younger children enthralled by vehicles, Sally Sutton’s Roadwork (2011) and Elizabeth Verdick’s Small Walt series provide superior text and art and kinder humor. Children who have little interest in cars, trucks, and construction equipment may find this offering a yawner. Despite being advertised as a beginner book, neither text nor art recommend this as an engaging choice for children starting to read independently. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Smoother rides are out there. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-37725-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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