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Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site [Hardcover]

Sherri Duskey Rinker , Tom Lichtenheld
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,471 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 4, 2011 1 and up 820L (What's this?)
The #1 New York Times bestseller

As the sun sets behind the big construction site, all the hardworking trucks get ready to say goodnight. One by one, Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, and Excavator finish their work and lie down to rest—so they'll be ready for another day of rough and tough construction play! With irresistible artwork by best-selling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld and sweet, rhyming text, this book will have truck lovers of all ages begging for more.

And coming this August! Crunch, vroom, beep, yawn and snore along with Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site SOUND BOOK. Pre-order now!

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Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site + Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? + Little Blue Truck Board Book
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Editorial Reviews Review Exclusive Essay: From the Slush Pile to #1: Realizing My Vision. Or Not.
First-time author Sherri Duskey Rinker's Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site steadily climbed up the New York Times' Bestseller list throughout 2011, reaching #1 on January 29th, 2012. Here she shares the early inspiration that inspired a career in design, and how another artist brought her vision to life.

I grew up loving picture books.

I can still hear my grandmother's voice over the sound of the pages turning, the old wind-up Westclox alarm clock ticking away and the sound of traffic rolling down Howard Street. I remember the smell of books mingling with the smell of freshly laundered sheets.

Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House was my favorite, and I obsessed over the whimsically sweet illustrations of that little pink house happily sitting upon a hill covered in daisies.

Inspired, I wanted to be an artist. I also wanted to be a poet, an art teacher, and a journalist. The ping-pong ball of art vs. words ended with a career as a graphic designer. It was a perfect fit: I took pictures and words and put them together in a pretty way.

I met an artist, a photographer. He also had grown up with Virginia Burton: Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel. It was a sign. So I married him. We had two boys and two good excuses for buying dozens (and dozens) of picture books.

Inspired by my youngest son's tireless (literally!) obsession with trucks, I wrote Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site in stolen moments during the workday and late at night, after the boys were tucked in. And with the words emerged a vision (dare I say "obsession") for how the book and my trucks would look.

I could see it so clearly: realistic illustrations of trucks superimposed with facial expressions to convey the mood and create the characters. Strong, yet simple graphic elements to create the setting. A bit of realism. A bit of collage. A bit of a grunge to compliment the dirty work of the trucks. I included the concept illustration with my manuscript and sent it, unsolicited, to Chronicle Books.

When my editor contacted me, three months after I'd sent the manuscript, she was friendly, but also to-the-point: They loved the manuscript (!), and hated (though she used a nicer word) the illustration concept.


One of the reasons that Chronicle was the first (and ultimately only) publisher on my list was that I LOVE their picture books. I appreciate their beauty and high production values. So, I had a choice here: trust, or walk away. I chose trust--with a big dash of fear.

My editor asked if I had any ideas for illustrators. I sent her a dozen names and online portfolios. I'm pretty certain she ignored me. And, they chose Tom Lichtenheld. (Who?)

When I told my editor that I'd never heard of Tom, she quickly emailed a few examples. The first was from Tom's NYT best-selling book, Duck! Rabbit! I was stunned to see bold, simple shapes and thickly-outlined illustrations. I stared blankly at the screen, feeling my heart sink.

Could this guy even draw a truck?

I spent the next couple of months intently focused on the process of editing and developing the final manuscript. But it was always there, in the back of my mind: What would the book look like? What had I given up?

One evening I received an excited email from my editor with Tom's first pencil sketch attached.

I wrote back: "I’m scared. I'll pour a glass of wine and then look at it."

I held my breath and double-clicked. And there it was: classic, timeless and tender, with just a touch of whimsy. My crane truck, a distant, younger cousin to Mike Mulligan, perhaps? My heart melted. I was won over.

So there it was: nothing like I imagined. But it was better. I've come to learn that some of the best things in life--like marriage and motherhood--are like that.

And I could almost feel Mrs. Burton smiling down.

Little House
Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House
Mike Mulligan
Virginia Lee Burton's Mike Mulligan's steam shovel
Concept Sketch
Rinker's original vision for Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
Duck Rabbit
Illustrator Tom Lichtenheld's Duck! Rabbit!
Lichtenheld's first sketch of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site


" Truck-loving kids will respond to this take on settling down to sleep. " - The Horn Book Guide

"This book is a treasure." -Testy Yet Trying blog

"Rinker's rhythmic verse reinforces the vehicles' love of their work (Dump Truck "moves the dirt/ from place to place,/ Then dumps it with a happy face") and, like Lichtenheld's art, deftly balances the story's boisterous and drowsy elements. Truck lovers will happily nod off to the strains of this read-aloud." - Publishers Weekly

"Perfect for sleepers who are more fascinated by the motorized and muddy than by the soft and fluffy. A certain subset of parents and grandparents will see this book and shout, "At last!" - Chicago Tribune

"Lichtenheld's detailed and textured illustrations, rendered in wax oil pastels on vellum paper, perfectly complement the fun, rhyming text, cleverly personifying each truck with expressive eyes and amusing details. ...Recommended for vehicle- and bedtime-themed storytimes, this is sure to be a hit with truck-loving preschoolers." - School Library Journal, starred review

"If your little reader is mad for trucks, you must get this gem of a book!"

"Gentle rhymes and soft-colored pictures of favorite trucks are the perfect way to lull any child into sweet dreams." - Bookmarkable blog,

"For all those youngsters who feel coziest with a cement mixer jammed into an armpit and a dump truck wedged at their feet, Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site might be the best bedtime book ever." - Hampton Roads

"An ideal bedtime book for all those truck-loving toddlers and preschoolers! ...If there's a truck fan in your family, this is a great pick... Drive it to the top of your pile of story time truck reads as well." - Waking Brain Cells blog

"A great read-aloud story as you are settling your child in for the night."

"A delightful debut." - The New York Times

" A standout picture book, especially for those who like wheels with their dreams" - Booklist, starred review

Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (May 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811877825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811877824
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,471 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely bedtime book May 12, 2011
This is just a wonderful bedtime story for any young fan of big machinery. The rhyming is spot on, creating a fantastic read aloud flow. We get to say goodnight to each machine as it dozes off, creating just the right atmosphere for bedtime. The illustrations have that classic old fashioned feel, done in muted colors with somewhat fuzzed edges. Each character has an expressive face that only adds to the charm of a story that is sure to be a much requested bed time read. A note to any librarian or story group leader interested in doing a bedtime theme story time: this is a sure winner! Just the perfect length for preschoolers. A sleepy recommend.
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
This book is written in such a way that my little ones feel right at home with those hard working construction-site machines. Each night they take turns pretending they are one of the beautifully illustrated charactors, and in the daytime they point out all the machines they see as we drive to and from our places to be. This book makes them want to play along and snuggle up at bedtime, which of course puts them in the mood to sleep all snug and close, just like the machines at the construction site. Six thumbs up from our family!

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
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70 of 78 people found the following review helpful
By D. H.
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My 3-year old son loves this book and wants to read it every night. The graphics are excellent and the rhymes are good too. The author uses just the right number of new words for a 2-3 year old. Italics are used on some parts of the text to allow the reader to shorten or expand the story.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for toddlers who love construction stuff September 29, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My 2.5 year old is fascinated with all things construction related: excavators, backhoes, front end loads, bulldozers, etc. He wears a hard hat around the house, and when we're driving in the car and he spots a bulldozer he wants to stop the car and get out so he can check it out.

Needless to say, we've been buying more construction-themed items lately, and this book just popped up on Amazon the other day so I grabbed it. Great illustrations, fun story -- good pace for a 2-3 year old. Nice quality on the binding/pages, too.
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116 of 150 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not just for boys!!!! January 24, 2012
We love this book in our house. Currently, it is the very favorite among my three year old daughter's bedtime books. It features a good amount of predictability in the text built in- which is nice for preschoolers who like to chime in "Shhh...Goodnight, Crane Truck, goodnight." etc etc. My daughter can pretty much recite the whole book, something she takes great delight in. The drawings are also charming, especially details that are not in the text - the crane truck holds a teddy bear, for example. I would gladly give this book 5 stars. Except.

Here's my only problem with this book: it's not just for boys. I feel pretty strongly about this- hence the use of multiple exclamation marks in the title of my review. I mentioned above I have a daughter. She's three. She loves construction vehicles, adores watching them work in real life, and likes to read about them too. No one ever told her that construction is just for boys. Nor do I believe that anyone *should* tell her this! And so my husband and I were both quite disappointed that every single one of the construction vehicles in this book - a crane truck, a dump truck, a cement mixer, an excavator, and a bulldozer - is gendered as male. There seems no logical reason for this, other than it is widely believed that only boys like construction stuff and that the audience for this book is therefore only boys and boys can only relate to boy characters. Seems to me there is a failure at all these steps - some girls (and some boys!) like construction trucks, the audience for this book is not limited therefore to boys, and moreover, boys can relate to girl characters just as easily as anyone else, if they are allowed and encouraged to do so.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why do kids love CONSTRUCTION machines? September 12, 2012
One of life's mysteries--why is it that every toddler boy I know is crazy about construction machines? This book fits the bill perfectly--but (when you get tired of reading it for the 20th time) also check out WHAT CAN A CRANE PICK UP? by Rebecca Kai Dotlich with ADORABLE illustrations. For instance, the train isn't empty--it's full of animals including a Lyle the Crocodile lookalike--and the smiling face of the crane will make you feel happy (guaranteed). So terrific to have books like these to instill a love of rhyme in the youngest listeners!
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for bedtime or just winding down September 10, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my son who just turned two. He was excited by the construction vehicles and was "shooshing" and whispering along with the story on the first read through the book. The illustrations are perfect (my son could identify all of the objects) and the story is a great length for this age group (long enough to hold his interest but not so long that he wanted to turn the pages before I finished reading). I can tell this is going to quickly become one of his favorites and it's a book that I wont mind reading over and over.
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32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cute drawings but why are all machines male? October 13, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Got this book thinking my son would love it because he loves visiting mommy's job sites and watching the machines working. It has cute drawings and rhyming text about the machines on a construction site shutting down for the night. But, I don't understand why not one woman works on this construction site. Even Mike Mulligan had Mary Anne way back in the 1930s when it was more unlikely there would be a woman on a construction site! Seems like an oversight in an otherwise nice book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My son's new favorite book. Loves construction vehicles! Shh ..goodnight!
Published 8 hours ago by Kelly R
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My son love the colors!
Published 1 day ago by Ma Loreto Burnier A
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
My two year old son absolutely loves this book. We read it every night!
Published 2 days ago by jennmf
5.0 out of 5 stars that is after we have checked it out from our local library pretty...
I am ordering this for our little guy for Christmas, that is after we have checked it out from our local library pretty much everytime we go. Read more
Published 2 days ago by DC
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
We love this one!!!! My 3 year old loves this book!
Published 3 days ago by Stephanie Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Love at first sight
My 2.5 year old son loves this book! We checked it out at the local library, and then had to buy out own copy. He has it memorized now!
Published 3 days ago by Kendra C. Wylie
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this about a construction site or little boys??
As a mom of three busy boys, they all love this book. The book has great illustrations and an easy, cute story. perfect for before bed.
Published 3 days ago by momofthreeboys
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Book
Published 4 days ago by John T. Byrum, Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to our library!
Great book! Beautiful illustrations, and captured my sons' attention!
Published 4 days ago by Panthers Mama
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just a great read for everyone.
Published 4 days ago by Erica Meyer
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