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Machines Go To Work Hardcover – May 12, 2009


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Machines Go To Work + Machines Go to Work in the City + Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 2—Machinery parades across colorful spreads in this interactive look at equipment. The inventory includes a helicopter, tugboat, cement mixer, and more. The text, one to three lines per spread, is rich in vocabulary. The words and the quality illustrations interact well to portray how each piece of equipment is used in a selected situation. Children will chime in with the "GZZZZZZZZZK!" of the backhoe, the "WWAAAAAWWWWWWWWRRRR!" of the fire engine, and other sounds produced by the equipment. The realistic digital paintings will delight youngsters; spreads alternate with three-page foldouts that show the machines at work. Some reveal unanticipated surprises like a helicopter hovering over a family of ducks crossing a road. The last two pages have small pictures of the machines, descriptions of what they are used for, and labels for selected components. This well-constructed picture book is a surefire hit.—Lynn K. Vanca, Akron-Summit County Public Library, Richfield, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Combining the excitement of powerful machines in action with reminders of how they help humans, Low adds a surprising dimension to the familiar story of vehicles at work. Children mesmerized by the vrooming motion will be drawn by the unframed, double-page spreads and big flaps that open to show overviews and close-ups of trucks, trains, and boats. There are also delicate, detailed views of the humans, plants, and animals that the technology helps conserve. The huge, powerful backhoe is ready with its stabilizers down. Is it going to dig up a flower garden? Open the flap, and the three-page spread shows the backhoe making a hole for new trees. Has a fire engine arrived to put out a blaze in the cherry trees? Open the flap and see the firefighters rescuing a tiny kitten stuck high in the branches. On other spreads, a tugboat pulls a huge container ship and a drawbridge stops traffic for a passing freight train. A final spread adds facts about the nine amazing machines. Preschool-Grade 1. --Hazel Rochman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 6 years
  • Hardcover: 42 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (May 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805087591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805087598
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In his 1975 Introduction to his book Dandelion Wine Ray Bradbury has this to say about children and the ugliness of the mechanical world. "Trains and boxcars and the smell of coal and fire are not ugly to children. Ugliness is a concept that we happen on later and become self-conscious about." It's true that many of us adults forget how fascinating and beautiful large machines are to small humans. Of course there are a few grownups capable of remembering, and if they are authors they might write books about trucks and trains and cars and planes. Yet these books tend to be written for small tykes and too often they are simplistic and sufficient. In my own experience as a children's librarian I have noticed that what kids really love in such books are details and realism. They like to be told the difference between a stabilizer and a backhoe bucket or a tow cable and a smoke stack. William Low taps into that need, bringing us a book that combines story, technical details, and sheer beauty all in one neat little package. At last children and adults finally can find a middle ground in what they consider "beautiful".

You want a lift the flap book? Brother, you got it. In Machines Go To Work a riverside town plays host to a wide variety of different mechanical beasts. In the first scene we see a backhoe suspiciously close to some tulips. The text asks, "Is the backhoe digging up the flowers?" Lift the flap and the answer is revealed. "No, it's digging a hole for new crab-apple trees. The flowers are safe." The book continues in this manner. Firemen rescue a kitten from a tree, a news helicopter reports on a family of ducks crossing the road, a cement mixer needs a tow, and so on.
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Format: Hardcover
The backhoe looks like it's about ready to go to work because the stabilizers have been lowered so it won't fall on its side. "GZZZZZZZZZK!" Looks like it's going to dig up some flowers, but wait . . . "it's digging a hole for new crab-apple trees." Whew, the tulips will be just fine. Hey, there goes a fire truck. "WWAAAAAWWWWWWWWRRRR!" It's stopped next to a row of cherry blossom trees. Not a very likely spot for a fire, but wait . . . it looks like they are going to rescue a little white kitten in the tree tops.

There are a lot of working vehicles and perhaps you know someone who drives or flies one. The drum on the cement mixer keeps "turning to prevent the concrete from becoming hard." In this book you can see and read about one and you'll learn about many of its parts. Can you point out where the water tank is? You'll also be able to see many other machines at work. There is a tow truck, a helicopter, a diesel locomotive (you'll learn about the railroad crossing sign too), a tug boat and a container ship. "HONK! HONK!" Watch out. The tug boat is going to help the container ship!

This is a fantastic book for the young inquisitive child who is wild about machines and how they work. The art work is very colorful and the three and four-page spreads totally engage the reader. For example a two-page spread shows a fire truck coming. On the next page the question is asked, "is there a fire in the cherry blossom trees?" The question is answered when the right-hand page opens up and the entire truck is revealed and you see the ladder extension and the fireman cuddling the kitten to his chest. Each machine has similar flaps to explore. In the back of the book is a two-page spread with technical information on each vehicle. Those little hands are going to be busy turning the flaps on this marvelous book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Sack VINE VOICE on June 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Machines are hard at work for us each day making our work a little easier. This picture book shows us many machines and tells us about the jobs that they do. The book is unique in that in features flaps to lift that make the two page spread turn into a four page spread. Children will enjoy this interactive feature.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Terrence Hewitt on May 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The book is well thought out and the author did not lower expectations for the reader. Also the illustrations are incredible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Pruitt on January 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has been a big hit with my two year old grandson. The illustrations are wonderful with great saturated colors and the fold out pages are such fun (hope they hold up to the multiple openings!) An absolute "must have" for any young child who loves machines!
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Format: Hardcover
Low has pioneered the use of digital painting in children's books, and there's something wonderfully mesmerizing about his realistic illustrations. The fun in this book is the surprising twists that come when little fingers lift the gatefolds, morphing borderless two-page spreads into three-page murals. Questions are asked, and then each machine's true intention is revealed in the answer. When the firetruck comes roaring to the scene of an emergency, are the trees on fire? No! A kitten is stuck, waiting to be rescued.

If you read the book with slightly older children, there is a really neat YouTube clip of the artist at work (search "William Low: Portrait of a Digital Artist"). He's a fascinating guy (a native New Yorker who was born in the back of a cab), and I never would've imagined the book's illustrations could have started out as scribbles on a computer screen.

Be sure to check out his other machine-filled hit, "Machines Go To Work in the City" -- it's another favorite in our house.
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