Chronicle Books recently published two new unique offerings in picture books aimed at ages 4-8. 4-8 is an odd range to me, because you have preschoolers who vary in ability from learning their letters to starting to read, and most kids that are 8 years old are reading pretty proficiently. Each of these books is aimed at both ends of the 4-8 range.
Just when I thought books about construction vehicles were all pretty much the same, along comes Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. Author Sherri Duskey Rinker has her own truck-loving child and has created the perfect bedtime book that puts construction vehicles in a new light. We follow the crane truck, who sleeps with a teddy bear, the cement mixer as he takes a bath and settles in with his blankey, and we too get ready for sleep along with the dump truck, bulldozer and excavator. Pastel illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld – of Shark vs. Train, Duck Rabbit and countless other wonderful books – show the adorable but hard-working trucks as happy while working and exhausted at the end of the day. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site will be loved by parents who are tired of “vroom vroom” and kiddos who can’t get enough of construction vehicles.
His Shoes Were Far Too Tight is a compilation of nonsense poems by Edward Lear. The books was “masterminded” by author and NPR personality Daniel Pinkwater, and illustrated in whimsical acrylics by Calef Brown. The poems alone are quite fun, if a bit tongue-twistery, and the vibrant illustrations that accompany the poems add to the merriment. Brown’s artwork has a childlike quality, with animals and people often drawn in profile and arms that appear to be boneless. His Shoes Were Far Too Tight is a great introduction to nonsense poems for older children who can read on their own and also has some fun read-alouds for younger children.
Construction vehicles and nonsense poetry: opposite ends of the children’s book spectrum, both done in a unique and fun way.
Nancy admits to preferring sleepy trucks to silly poetry. She writes about her boys, books and life in Colorado at Life With My Boys and Books.