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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. Chronicle Books. 2011. $18.99 ages 3 and up

"He slowly folds his boom back in,
And then with one last sleepy grin,
He tucks himself in nice and tight (sigh!)
Then cuddles up and says goodnight."

Goodnight to you, Crane Truck!

I know...and you know...the children who are going to love this lullaby for construction vehicles; it might even do the trick for the rambunctious young listener with whom this book is shared. It is sure to be a favorite for just the right kids.

It's not easy to get young children to calm at the end of the day, in preparation for a good night's sleep.  I would not have thought to pair a bedtime story with a crane, a cement mixer, a dump truck, a bulldozer and an excavator. Luckily, you weren't counting on me to pen such a tale. Equally lucky you are that this mother of two boys saw the need, and had the talent and energy at the end of her very busy days to do just that!

It is her first book, and I am hoping that coping with two lively, curious sons will be the inspiration for another one soon. We meet said vehicles as dusk approaches:

"The sun has set, the work is done;
It's time for trucks to end their fun.
So one by one they'll go to bed
To yawn and rest their sleepy heads,"

And as promised, each completes one last task before giving in to fatigue and taking a much deserved rest.
The rhyming verses that move readers from the active busy day to the quiet peaceful evening have a gentle tempo, and are perfect for reading aloud prior to settling in for the night.

Tom Lichtenheld's artwork is praiseworthy, creating a construction site that exemplifies the work needing to be done by this cast of expressive characters. I love watching the sunset with them, as they recognize that another busy day of work is coming to an end. As we say goodnight to each of them, he lends personal traits to each that have no voice in the words of the text. While the crane holds a light-filled star to keep dark shadows at bay, he also cuddles his teddy bear. I will leave you to find out how each of the others settles to sleep. It is absolutely worth the read!

Begin the reading day with Jon Scieszka's Truckery Rhymes; but be sure to end it with this one, for those construction loving kids in your life.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Sal!

    Thank you so much for your nice review of my book. And, yes, I agree -- Tom Lichtenheld's artwork IS praiseworthy - I'm so thrilled with how he brought the words to life!

    I'm deeply grateful for your kind words. Thanks again!

    I'll mention your blog in my own blog and on the book's Facebook page in the next few days.

    Sherri Duskey Rinker