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Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Ultimate Construction Site Book, by Anne-Sophie Baumann and Didier Balicevic. Editions Tourbillon, Chronicle. Raincoast, 2014. $21.99 ages 9 and up

"To make the ground beneath the road more stable, the workers add lime and cement. The road reclaimer pulverizes the material into an even layer.

When a busy road is built through an area that is filled with wildlife, the animals need a safe place to cross to the other side. Sometimes a special tunnel is built..."

I opened the cover to the title page and made a complete stop to take a look at the many different building materials the children pictured were using in their own special constructions...blocks of all kinds, a wagon, a dump truck, a crane, hard hats, even a barrier for safety. I can hear the talk as young listeners share stories of the things that they build when they have the chance; and they haven't even begun to explore this stellar book!

Moving beyond that, we have access to a variety of sites...from start to finish we watch as a building goes up, view a nighttime scene of cranes at work, see all the work that goes into building a brand new road, a subway, bridges, a roller coaster, an airplane, a ship and finally, to a child's great delight, a traveling circus tent.

The spreads take up two pages, and are filled with so many details they will never all be seen at one sitting. That just ensures it will not be a book that is pushed aside for something more interesting. If that should happen, a child will miss the delight of lifting flaps, opening folds, helping things rise up and come down, pulling tabs and going back to do it all again. All of those actions bring life to the sites being explored, and are not to be missed.

It won't take long to find a favorite page and set yourself to exploring each and every interactive bit of it. Many young children will spend endless time outside watching those places where new things are being built. Here there are more than 60 interactive parts to help them see what happens behind the scenes of some of the best and most fascinating construction sites. There's color, there's action and many questions will be asked and answered in an exploration of its ten incredible spreads.

You might also want to check out its companion book,  The Ultimate Book of Vehicles, which was published earlier this year.

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