cover image Demolition


Sally Sutton, illus. by Brian Lovelock. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5830-4

In this follow-up to their 2008 Roadwork, Sutton and Lovelock savor the joys of creative destruction—in the most literal sense of the phrase—as a derelict building is torn down to make way for a playground. Once again, Sutton’s rhyming text has an imperative, chanting quality that’s a perfect fit with the subject matter: “Swing the ball. Swing the ball./ Thump and smash and whack./ Bring the top floors tumbling down./ Bang! CLANG! CRACK!” Lovelock sticks to largely schematic characterizations of his human crew so that he can focus on the machines themselves; an excavator chomps into a building (“Dinosaurs had teeth like this!”) while a crusher makes “new concrete from the old.” The bright red and yellow vehicles (which are also recapped in a glossary) pop out from the dappled and speckled blue-hued settings, and Lovelock’s crisp ink line delineates rivets, hydraulics, and heft. It’s clear that for all the pointing and switching and even driving that humans do, the real magic is in the ruthless efficiency with which these engineering marvels collide and gnaw into a hapless structure. Ages 3–5. (Feb.)