Tuesday 14 March 2017

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Dusky Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld (Chronicle Books) HB RRP $29.99 ISBN 9781452146980

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Here are two #1 New York Times Bestsellers in this one boxed set. The books – both board books with rounded corners are titled Steam Train, Dream Train and Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. What is most unusual is that both of the books, obviously intended for very small children, are quite text-heavy whereas most board books are light on text. Both books use rhyming verse and full-page coloured illustrations.

Steam Train, Dream Train is the story of a steam train travelling through the country at night so all of the text is printed white on dark backgrounds. All of the crew are animals with monkeys, for instance, putting cargo on board when the train stops. Kangaroos have fun ‘… they get to work and have a ball!/Then with a bounce, a pounce, a leap/three boys jump in… and fall asleep.’ Elephants fill up the tankers, and when ‘The train car’s packed,/The crew sits back/and chills with/a midnight snack.’ Different parts of the train are mentioned which should help young readers learn, though the American ‘caboose’ is used instead of ‘carriage.’

In Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Sit, heavy machinery is building a road so machines such as cranes, cement mixers, dump trucks and bulldozers are mentioned. They work during the day, but at night, ‘No more huffing and puffing, team/It’s time to rest your heads and dream.

Obviously parents of small children buy plenty of these books so there is certainly a big market for out of the ordinary board books.

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