Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

Sherri Duskey Rinker, illus. by Tom Lichtenheld. Chronicle, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8118-7782-4
A noisy construction site may be an unorthodox setting for a bedtime story, but newcomer Rinker and Lichtenheld (Shark vs. Train) tie together the dual themes neatly. Though more subdued than the trucks that drive Kate and Jim McMullan’s I Stink! and I’m Dirty!, these anthropomorphized vehicles have a similar graphic feel and cheerful demeanor. After five machines are first pictured hard at work, they appear against a blazing sky: “The sun has set, the work is done;/ It’s time for trucks to end their fun./ So one by one they’ll go to bed/ To yawn and rest their sleepy heads,/ Then wake up to another day/ Of rough-and-tough construction play!” Each truck performs one final task before settling down to sleep, with gentle encouragement: “Shh... goodnight, Bulldozer, goodnight.” Rinker’s rhythmic verse reinforces the vehicles’ love of their work (Dump Truck “moves the dirt/ from place to place,/ Then dumps it with a happy face”) and, like Lichtenheld’s art, deftly balances the story’s boisterous and drowsy elements. Truck lovers will happily nod off to the strains of this read-aloud. Ages 4–8. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/13/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Genre: Children's
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