A winsome board book that highlights both the work of construction crews and the work of nature.

CONSTRUCTION SITE: SPRING DELIGHT

AN EASTER LIFT-THE-FLAP BOOK

From the Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site series

A new addition to the Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site board-book series celebrates spring’s arrival, and Easter’s too.

As “warm sunshine melts the snow away,” a construction site in what looks to be a remote rural area joyfully comes alive. Seven different occupational trucks begin their work, carrying out their specialized tasks. A concrete mixer pours concrete into a trench to make a foundation for a building, a crane truck lifts a huge wooden crate, a dump truck hauls away dirt, and so on. There are no humans pictured in the artwork; instead, the vehicles, which are anthropomorphically rendered with eyes, noses, and mouths, seem to have wills of their own. Each sturdily constructed double-page spread has a flap that, when lifted, reveals a lovely springtime surprise, from a duck and her ducklings swimming in a nearby lake to blooming tulips springing up from the ground behind the wooden crate. To cap off this engaging exploration of a setting that will be fascinating to many young children, not one, but four flaps on the final double-page spread make for a fun Easter egg hunt. Rinker’s rhyming couplets scan well. The flaps are big enough for little ones still developing motor skills, with notched spaces that make them easy to lift. Ford's colored pencil and oil pastel illustrations capture the promise of a new season’s—and a new day’s—dawn and persevere in the style Tom Lichtenheld established in the first book of the series.

A winsome board book that highlights both the work of construction crews and the work of nature. (Novelty board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-79720-431-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022

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Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over.

NOISY TRACTOR

From the I Can Learn series

Little ones can explore a day in the life of a rubber-covered, audio-enabled tractor.

The “5 noisy parts!” promised on the cover are powered by a battery embedded in the back of the book, the compartment securely screwed shut. Youngsters are prompted by the text to press various parts of the tractor to make interesting sound effects, such as an engine starting then chugging, a horn, and tire noise on muddy or rocky terrain. A large, tractor-shaped die-cut hole in every page allows children to access the vehicle on every double-page spread but leaves the left-hand pages dominated by that tractor-shaped hole. Farm animals make their signature sounds via speech bubble (horses, chicks, and cows, to name a few) along with other critters offering suggestions about which buttons on the tractor to press. For additional play value, a ladybug and a caterpillar can be spotted on every double-page spread. Labels for most of the animals appear in a clear font along with other farm-centric vocabulary words: pitchfork, seedlings, trough. Elliott’s art is busy, but the simple, eye-catching patterns and graphically clean lines in bright colors will appeal to the audience. While this offering is perfect for toddlers, the extensive warnings in the fine print on the back of the book about what may happen if the button battery is swallowed should scare adults into being vigilant. Thankfully, there is an on/off switch allowing for toggling between a quiet and noisy reading experience.

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-669-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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Preschoolers enamored with construction equipment will enjoy this cheerful tale, which is simple enough for little ones just...

DALMATIAN IN A DIGGER

Four animals with heavy construction equipment arrive to build a treehouse as a surprise for a Dalmatian puppy.

The puppy awakens to loud, unexpected sounds and a foreshadowing glimpse of a big, metal scoop outside the bedroom window. The puppy joyously discovers an adult Dalmatian driving an excavator, called a “digger” in this British author/illustrator’s text. Just a couple of brief sentences describe the action of the digger, punctuated with creative sound effects incorporated into the illustrations in collage-effect letters. Another set of loud sounds precedes the arrival of a camel in a crane, followed by a duck in a dump truck, and a bear in a bulldozer. Each new piece of equipment has its own set of exuberant sounds that relate loosely to the machine’s function, such as “DUMP, SPLAT, CRASH” for the dump truck. The patterned text uses the machines’ sounds as a predictive device, with a dramatic page turn to reveal the next animal and corresponding construction equipment. Bold, movement-filled illustrations create a buoyant atmosphere, with jaunty animal characters and bright flowers and trees surrounding the construction site. There’s a bit of a logic gap between the heavy equipment and the concluding treehouse, as there are no carpenters shown building the actual house. Another small drawback is the gender bias in the four animal equipment drivers, as only one is identified as female; the puppy’s gender is not specified.

Preschoolers enamored with construction equipment will enjoy this cheerful tale, which is simple enough for little ones just transitioning into real stories. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62370-802-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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