From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–In spare, rhyming text, a boy and his father, a builder, explore the site of the child's new school. Wearing hard hats, they watch throughout the year as the bulldozer clears the field and the cement mixer pours the foundation, etc., until the building is ready for the first day of classes. Bold acrylic and colored-pencil pictures give the oversize book great appeal–it opens from the bottom up, and the striking illustrations are done from the boy's perspective looking up at the huge machines. The boy concludes, And when I'm a grown-up, I hope I will be/a builder like Dad with a helper like me! The book will be enthusiastically welcomed by youngsters fascinated with construction and big machines. It is also an engaging father/son story.–Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
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The creators of Karate Hour
(2004) offer another energetic picture book with visual punch. Speaking in rhyming couplets, a young boy describes trips with his contractor dad to the site where a new school is being constructed. The use of rhyme feels too constraining, and some lines are clunkers: "The teachers have meetings. Dad's last workers rush. / Our waxed floors are gleaming. The toilets all flush." The pictures, though, have instant appeal. As in Karate,
the spreads spill down the page vertically, rather than horizontally, for maximum impact. This time, however, Thomson uses full color, and his photo-realistic paintings bring viewers close up to, sometimes even under, giant machines that scoop dirt, dump gravel, and unload a river of cement seemingly right into the viewer's lap. Pair this with Kate Banks' The Night Worker
(2000) and the titles listed in the bibliography "The Art of Construction," in the December 15, 2000, issue of Booklist.Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved