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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Demolition, written by Sally Sutton and illustrated by Brian Lovelock. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2012. $18.00 ages 2 and up

"Crush the stone.
Crush the stone.
Chip and grind and munch.
Make new concrete
from the old.

You will be chanting this book in no time!

It's so great to see new books about construction and construction sites for young readers. I would pair this with Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site (Chronicle, 2011) for them. That makes for a double scoop of fun that they will want to hear again and again.

Each four-line verse is followed by noisy words that are sure to encourage participation. Kids will be stamping, snapping, clanging, roaring, squirting and crunching with you and delighting in every single sound. The rhythm is contagious and meant to be read aloud...something I did while sitting at the computer working on this post. It's such fun!

In the beginning, workers prepare for the work to be done. Some are donning work clothes and hard hats, others are clearing debris, while the foreman gives instructions to the wrecking ball operator. When the smashing begins, everyone is behind the warning line. Each worker has a job to do and the multi-story building falls victim to the ball's power. The stone is crushed, the lumber shredded and the steel sorted. Soon the site is completely revamped.  What's that they are doing now? Is that a slide? Are those monkey bars?

Knock it down, build it up! What is more fun in the life of a preschooler?

I love Brian Lovelock's textured illustrations done with pigmented inks. He evokes the sights, the sounds, the dust-filled air of a demolition site. His ever-changing perspectives give readers a feeling of being right there while the work is being done. Young construction vehicle enthusiasts will gaze in wonder at the jobs each does, and be able to see it in action. The final double page spread is the picture of perfection for all who share it...aaaah!

Machine Facts at the end of the book adds another dimension and provides just the right amount of information to share with those little ones who know, or want to know, the names of every machine and what its job is.

You know the drill...if you are looking for a birthday gift, or already thinking about Christmas, this is a book that deserves a place on every library shelf...home and school!

Don't forget to go to Candlewick's site every day this month to watch the reading videos!

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