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What Can a Crane Pick Up? Hardcover – September 11, 2012

24 customer reviews

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What Can a Crane Pick Up? + Digger, Dozer, Dumper + Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-K-Smiling, anthropomorphic machines romp through the pages of this rhyming text, showing the many things a crane can pick up, from trucks to cars and trains to planes, from sunken ships and mummy cases to a space shuttle. Sometimes they lift up a polar bear or cartons and cartons of underwear. Cranes can even pick up other cranes. Lowery's pencil, silk screen, and digital-media art makes excellent use of flat, retro colors-blue, green, brown, gold, yellow, and gray-and seamlessly integrates the type into the design. The humorous text is just the ticket for toddler storytimes, although some of the rhymes seem a bit forced. The imaginative, lighthearted illustrations are the real draw here and will be a big hit with construction-site lovers. They're sure to want to hear this one again and again.-Sharon Grover, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, WIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, July 23, 2012:
“…it’s clear that this machine lives in the best of all possible worlds: where happiness is busyness, calm competence prevails, and no job is too small. Sign us up.”
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Lexile Measure: 0320 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375867260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375867262
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #458,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rebecca Kai Dotlich is a children's author & poet who is slightly obsessed with words, journals, small things, comic books & marbles, the writing process, wishes and wonder. Her 20+ books include Lemonade Sun, What Can A Crane Pick Up? and What Is Science? She lives in the Midwest not far from where she built snowmen and rode bike trails when she was young.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Janet S. Wong on September 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book will make you smile; guaranteed! It might be because every single page shows something or someone smiling--the animals in the train car are smiling, the kids are smiling, the construction workers are smiling (and waving), and even the crane with the big heavy responsibility of the ferris wheel job is kind of (nervously) smiling. But most of the feel-good factor comes from the quirky whimsy. Picking up . . . cuckoo clocks?! A polar bear and boxes and boxes of underwear?!! Kids who like construction machines and books like Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site will LOVE this book!! (A final note: parents will love the gorgeous musical language, such as "billions of bundles of builders' wood.")
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Cadoret on January 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I am a construction worker, and yes, I got picked up by a crane, just like the ending of this book. It was not fun at the time, but it has become a family legend. My kids (now 9 and 6) have heard the story of how Daddy got picked up by a crane - it's part of our history. But, about the book, it was cute, rhymey and a good read. I recommend it, especially since I got picked up by a crane.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Abookanight on September 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Rebecca uses her poetic gift to add surprising little twists throughout this whole book. Cranes don't just pick up the every day things you might expect, there's baseball caps, Ferris wheels, and space ships. There's something for everyone in this crane book, not just boys. The pictures are entertaining and easy to follow for a little one. The words flow easily and I never was disappointed with a forced rhyme.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul W. Hankins on October 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
(Cross Post from an Earlier Goodreads Review Shared Here by the Reviewer)

Rebecca Kai Dotlich's WHAT CAN A CRANE PICK UP is a delightful little book that would pair well with the popular books about construction like GOODNIGHT GOODNIGHT, CONSTRUCTION SITE, Gail Gibbons's HOW A HOUSE IS BUILT, and BUILDER GOOSE, a charming little book of rhymes about construction.

What Rebecca Kai Dotlich has created here is a book that speaks to the Tonka truck set. Those lovable little ones who are still stacking blocks to make towers, turning handles to operate string operated cranes and scoops, and plowing paths with bulldozers, believing that one day they may be behind the sticks that make these big machines move.

WHAT A CRANE CAN PICK UP invites itself to be read aloud. I think this is the only way to catch the sly little rhythms that Rebecca has built into the text the way a masterful children's poet can and will (and an underwear reference will carry it to six stars for knowing and speaking to the demographic here). What happens here is a question that might read like, "What can the listener 'pick up' in what the author has left behind to be discovered?"

Well. . .really nothing if we are not inviting young readers, especially our younger guy readers to scoop into the lines, to pull them to their ear like a cup fashioned by a string to the author's intent, plowing ahead into other collections of verse that deal in machinery and mechanization.

Mike Lowry's illustrations give a little personality to the cranes depicted within. The cranes remind me, as I am sure they will younger readers, of the ever-grinning Lego figures that come with the building kits. I love the businessmen in suits on a pallet along with cowboy boots.

Go back.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. VanDerwater on January 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a warm and delightful pairing! One of my favorite poets, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, once again brings her talents to a picture book, and the combination of her joyful text with Mike Lowery's whimsical illustrations is perfect. We purchased WHAT CAN A CRANE PICK UP? for our little nephew who is watching his own house being built, and he adores both word and picture. This is one of those "read it again" books, and would sit happily on a nightstand with GOODNIGHT GOODNIGHT CONSTRUCTION SITE by Sherri Duskey Rinker. I plan to give this as a gift to many more little ones in my life, and I hope for more WHAT CAN A...? books by this team.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Research Mommy on January 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book encouraged my almost 3 year old son into a crane-loving stage -- It's great fun, the cranes all have sweet happy faces, and the rhyming structure is simply delightful and "uplifting" (no seriously, it's very upbeat and happy). Great fun to read, my son really really likes it. Illustrations are simple and great, and all the machines and people in the book are depicted with happy smiling faces.

Large font, very simple sentences and ideas, I'd say great for Ages 12m - 3.5y.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Madigan McGillicuddy on January 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This story is just so cute! This book was a hit at my preschool storytime. It's a wonderful truck book that talks about a rarely looked at kind of construction vehicle, with a good sense of humor. Short, rhyming sentences and colorful illustrations lend to the appeal.

Things get pretty wacky when the cranes start to lift... other cranes! Or boxes of underwear! Plus, there's a super ending, with a crane that might pick up you, and you, or even YOU!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Sandford on January 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Great for storytime -the rhymes move the questions and answers along smoothly. The illustrations are bright and colorful. The text is large, bold and variegated, creating eye-grabbing interest for beginning readers. In case you didn't know, cranes are a big topic for little boys; here's a fun book to satisfy curiosity without the didacticism of non-fiction. Singular readers will want to turn the pages on their own, reveling in the cute illustrations.
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