by Sherri Duskey Rinker (Author) Tom Lichtenheld (Illustrator)
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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 McMullans 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;/ Its time for trucks to end their fun./ So one by one theyll 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. Rinkers 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 Lichtenhelds art, deftly balances the storys boisterous and drowsy elements. Truck lovers will happily nod off to the strains of this read-aloud. Ages 4-8. (May)
Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.
After each truck completes its work for the day, it cuddles up and says goodnight. Crane Truck raises one last beam and then hugs his teddy and turns on his nightlight. Cement Mixer gives a final spin before snuggling with his blanket. Dump Truck delivers his last load, closes his eyes, and starts to snore. Bulldozer and Excavator follow suit until the entire construction site is tucked in tight. Lichtenheld's detailed and textured illustrations, rendered in wax oil pastels on vellum paper, perfectly complement the fun, rhyming text, cleverly personifying each truck with expressive eyes and amusing details. The bright, golden background changes to pinkish red as the Sun begins to set and then to dark blue when the Moon appears. The repeated refrain, "Shh... goodnight, Crane Truck [Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, Excavator], goodnight," will invite participation. Recommended for vehicle —and bedtime-themed storytimes, this is sure to be a hit with truck-loving preschoolers.—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, ILCopyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.