Synopses & Reviews
Dad's helping to build a new school, and he takes his son to watch its progress. They see lots of machines at work: a dump truck, a backhoe, an earthmover, a giant grader, a steamroller, a cement mixer, a crane, and more. Finally, the school is finished just in time for the first day. Bill Thomson's exquisite illustrations, rendered in acrylic paint and colored pencils, are delivered in a double-spread vertical format, which, when the book is turned sideways, brings this building experience to life with unprecedented dramatic perspective.
"The jaw-dropping, photo-realistic paintings make this book, from the team behind Karate Hour, as essential to any young construction fan as a toy tool-belt. The lucky boy narrator gets to tag along with his father, a member of the crew that's building the neighborhood's new school. Wearing his very own hardhat, the boy gets a treasured insider's view of the building's progress: 'At noon, horns toot-toot! The crew needs to eat./ Dad lets me climb up in the earthmover's seat!' Throughout, Nevius's simple, incisive rhymes capture what's salient from a kid's point of view. On the eve of opening day, for instance, the narrator admires his reflection in the shiny new floors and notes, 'The teachers have meetings. Dad's last workers rush./ Our waxed floors are gleaming. The toilets all flush.' But it's Thomson's magnificent acrylics, rendered in a tight palette of blues (for denim and the summer sky), yellows and oranges, that give this book its standout status. The artist literally wants his audience to look at construction scenes from a new angle, setting his compositions on a vertical axis. Hence he places readers at the back of the unloading dump truck as the rocks tumble down, and at the end of the cement mixer's shoot, where the 'gray glop' drops. This format, combined with Thomson's dramatically foreshortened framing and perspectives make for an experience that's both larger than life and deliciously dizzying. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The book will be enthusiastically welcomed by youngsters fascinated with construction and big machines. It is also an engaging father/son story." School Library Journal