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Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by [Sherri Duskey Rinker, Tom Lichtenheld]
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Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 5,649 ratings
Part of: Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site (10 Books)

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon.com 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.

Hmm...

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!
Crane
Lichtenheld's first sketch of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

Sherri Rinker is a graphic designer and the mother of a three-year-old truck aficionado. She lives in Chicago. This is her first book.

Tom Lichtenheld is a best-selling children's book illustrator and author. His books include E-mergency, Duck!Rabbit!, Shark vs. Train, and What Are You So Grumpy About?. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
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Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2018
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Top international reviews

Angela E Arsenault
4.0 out of 5 stars Super cute story. But remember girls like big rigs too!
Reviewed in Canada on February 15, 2020
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22 people found this helpful
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Mrs H
5.0 out of 5 stars A really lovely rhyming story about construction site vehicles
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 7, 2019
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A J Johnstone
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent all rounder.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 20, 2018
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tt williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Age suitability
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 13, 2019
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Claire O'Connell
4.0 out of 5 stars Older toddler
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 25, 2020
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Mrs D Woodward
5.0 out of 5 stars What a lovely book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 27, 2019
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Petal73
5.0 out of 5 stars Covers every construction vehicle, great little book for little boys.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2020
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Sinead
5.0 out of 5 stars Super cute book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 3, 2019
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Ragen Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Love love love
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2014
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VFM buyer
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful bedtime story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 21, 2017
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Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 23, 2015
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allthegreeks
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as great as it's made out to be
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 7, 2013
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely night time story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 12, 2020
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Danielle D.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for us
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 3, 2018
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Black Sheep
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodnight energetic little boys
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 20, 2014
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