Banks and Hallensleben, whose And If the Moon Could Talk prepared children for a calm night's sleep, stay up long past bedtime in this absorbing after-hours expos . Unlike Eileen Spinelli and Melissa Iwai's Night Shift Daddy (Children's Forecasts, May 8), in which a father works while his daughter rests, this account features a boy who accompanies his engineer father to an urban construction site: ""And while Mama sleeps, Alex and Papa head quietly into the night."" For one special evening, Alex wears a small red hard hat to match his father's big yellow one. He stands next to his father as a cement mixer and crane prepare the foundation for a city building. He even rides in a tractor to load dirt into a dump truck, before his father takes him home again. Hallensleben conveys the father and son's mutual pride and affection. Alex observes the workplace with alert brown eyes and a self-possessed half-smile; some compositions allow readers a look over Alex's head and down into the thrilling depths of a subterranean pit. The richly tactile, softly glowing paintings complement the solemn prose. Banks evokes the machinery's awesome strength and noisy engines as well as the quiet at break time: ""All motion is stopped like a held breath."" A mesmerizing description of a busy nighttime realm, illuminated by blazing headlights and framed by silent skyscrapers. Ages 2-6. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2000 Release date: 08/01/2000 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.