Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Picture Books: Road Work Ahead & Job Site

I recently came across two new titles that preschool aged children, especially little boys, are sure to love.  Each have a slightly different emphasis, but both are full of vehicles and workers.  Educators and parents may use these books to accompany a unit or study on transportation or community helpers.   
A little boy sets off with his mom and dog to visit his grandmother, who is making yummy oatmeal cookies!  As they drive along, they encounter some delays due to all the work being  done on and around the road.   The snappy, rhyming text makes it just right for reading out loud:  

Left lane closed for drilling holes.   
Watch out now, they’re putting up poles.     

Right lane closed to pour concrete.   
Workers plant trees along the street.       

Each sentence is illustrated (by Jannie Ho) with a vivid two page scene of the his ride and all the people who work to make the community run smoothly and safely—bus driver, construction workers, police men, landscapers, and more.   Machines and vehicles are plentiful—jackhammer, dump truck, bus, loader slides, cement truck, and others.  The story ends with the boy arriving at his destination where he enjoys seeing his jovial grandmother and eating her delectable cookies.     

Suen superbly depicts the importance of all the various workers in the community.  The straightforward text makes it perfect for young listeners with shorter attention spans and older youngsters who are beginning to read.  I recommend Road Work Ahead for ages 2-6. 

Job Site (by Nathan Clement)  
Bulldozers, dump trucks, cranes, and other construction vehicles are the stars of this narrative.  For each job, the boss gives a short command and the community helper/vehicle accomplishes the job.  I can envision an enthusiastic young listener quickly memorizing each command and “reading” right along.  The text followings this basic set-up:  

Boss says, “Level that pile!”  
And the bulldozer lowers its blade and levels the pile of gravel.

Boss says, “Dig a hole!”
And the excavator tips its bucket and starts to dig.

Each vehicle has an important role in creating a community project that is not revealed until the final pages.  The grey background of the illustrations allow the bright colored vehicles to pop off the page.  Job Site is a cool read for any youngster excited about trucks and what they do!   I recommend it for ages 2-6. 

This post is linked up with Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word 


  1. I think my little man would like both of these! Thanks for linking up to RAT!

  2. I just returned both of these books to our local library. My youngest son (2 1/2 yrs old) can't get enough of trucks and these books delivered. We both LOVED THEM!! I'm thrilled to see you spread the word and share them with others!

  3. Thanks for that awesome testimony! I am glad you son enjoyed them. :)

  4. Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never sbo
    seem to get there! Many thanks.


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