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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Construction, written by Sally Sutton and illustrated by Brian Lovelock. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2014. $18.00 ages 2 and up

"Hoist the wood.
Hoist the wood.
Chain and hook and strap.
Swing it round,
then lower it down.


If you have a toddler who is as enamored of construction vehicles and building sites (as are most young children), you would do well to have the three books that make up this very appealing series ... Roadwork (2008), Demolition (2012) and now this lively and perfect addition!

It runs the gamut from digging the foundation, through every phase of building, to adding the final touches to a place of learning and delight for little ones. The rhyming text and the rhythm of the words will encourage listeners to read along as the work moves smoothly from first page to last.
Repetitive phrases are just the right touch for early readers. The fourth line of each stanza allows imagination and noise as the author creates sound effects to match the phase of construction being described.

Ink, acrylics and colored pencils are used to great effect as each spread shows clearly what happens, and who makes it happen. It's a huge undertaking and the illustrations show that clearly. Brian Lovelock uses changes in perspective to great effect, allowing those who share the book to see how the scene looks from above and below. This gives perspective to the various scenes. It will take time and effort to see everything, and everyone who plays a part as the building rises from the ground to become a hub of activity for the community.

Finally, an additional page provides necessary information about the machines and the clothing that the construction workers don before going to work.  The endpapers would make a perfect jigsaw puzzle - thousands of bolts spread across the double page.

If you want noise, engagement in the process and learning about the way construction of a building works, and a little one interested in such things, you would do well to find this fine series and share it.                                                         

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