Builders & Breakers
Builders & Breakers

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Annotation: Carrying their father's forgotten lunchbox to his construction work site, a sister and brother witness the noisy, exciting action of working vehicles in a high-energy celebration of builders, breakers and the machines they use.
Catalog Number: #185136
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-7636-9872-5 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-5285-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-7636-9872-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-5285-5
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2018959677
Dimensions: 22 x 27 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Kids who love the blast, crash, and boom of construction will love this. Each page has a word or several of text, but the focus of the art is on how "builders build" or "breakers break." It's a bit confusing that mostly the breaking spreads come after the building ones, but the pen, ink, and gouache artwork is often ingenious, as with the spread that must be turned lengthwise to fully show how deep diggers dig. Tucked in the action is a story that becomes clearer as the book goes on. The key builder is Dad, and Mom is the breaker. Siblings wind their way through rubble (no headgear?), lunchbox in hand; by the end, they are hoisted on a beam to picnic with their parents. Light's author's note explains that while the architecture in the book is drawn from imagination, he used classical, Gothic, and art deco forms to shape the pictures. And while the artwork showcases energetic pieces about machines (and workers) on the move, the endpapers are architectural drawings done with precision.
Horn Book
With just one to three words per page, this story demonstrates the necessary balance between building and breaking on a construction site. Playful in both its language and its pen-and-ink with gouache illustrations, the book cleverly depicts creation and construction as artistic pursuits (further highlighted in the author's note). The broad trim is particularly striking when the illustrations call for a vertical reading.
Kirkus Reviews
A visual feast for construction-zone fans.Endpapers designed to look like blueprints, along with detailed background art depicting buildings of various architectural styles at different stages of construction, invite readers to pore over each part of this finely crafted picture book. A frontmatter illustration depicts a man wearing a hard hat and kissing a woman goodbye. Their children play in the background, and when she realizes he's left his lunchbox, she sends them out to get it to him. Unfortunately, the dad is so focused on getting to work as one of the eponymous builders that he's oblivious to his children's pursuit. It's a bit jarring to see the small children traipsing about scenes of demolition and construction as the builders and breakers, all dressed in safety gear, go about their work. But Light's loose style, the depiction of complete, underground dinosaur skeletons in a vertical cross-section of a digging scene, and then pictures of the kids joining their dad and other workers for break time atop a lofty beam inject enough whimsy to make the children's exploits seem fanciful rather than dangerous. The latter scene is reminiscent of the famous 1932 black-and-white photograph Lunch Atop a Skyscraper, though it, like all other illustrations, includes rich gouache color. The family seems to be an interracial one, with a dad of color and a mom who presents white; the construction workers are racially diverse, and some appear to be women.Build up storytime collections with this pick. (Picture book. 2-6)
Publishers Weekly
A construction worker father with an upturned nose accidentally leaves his lunch box at home. His two children race after him to the build site, where workers in orange vests and hard hats use heavy tools and maneuver big rigs. Light describes their work using simple wordplay and onomatopoeia: -Builders hammer bang bang bang- and -breakers jackhammer rat-a-tat-tat-tat.- In a striking vertical spread, diggers work deep underground, the skeletons of dinosaurs entombed around them; in another, a crane hoists materials to a cathedral-like tower. Light-s approachable art features friendly figures and loose, scribbly lines along with precise pen-and-ink detailing. At last, the children capture their busy dad-s attention-which leads to -break time- on a construction beam. Those who have only seen a construction site from afar will welcome the insider-s view. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 1 A construction worker forgets his lunch box, so his wife sends their two small children to deliver it to him. That is the framing device behind this visually thrilling picture book. At the job site, the little ones observe some workers breaking ground and old structures while others are erecting new buildings. Simple vocabulary is used and the pen, ink, and gouache illustrations in orange, yellow, blue, and purple aptly define the featured word. Single pages and spreads are bright and clear with lots of white space as background. The large illustrations of "Diggers dig" and "Cranes hoist" require that the book be turned vertically and indicate depth and height. The "Diggers dig" spread reveals a discarded truck, bicycle, and several dinosaur skeletons buried in the earth as people toil deep in the hole. Men and women of different races are shown performing the same jobs and everyone wears a yellow hard hat except for the two kids who happily scamper about unhindered by any adult. VERDICT Young children interested in machines and building will enjoy this fanciful tribute to construction workers. Perfect for one-on-one and small group sharing. Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek Public Library WI
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
School Library Journal Starred Review (10/1/18)
ALA Booklist (12/1/18)
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: P-2

Experience the bustling energy of an urban construction site with Steve Light’s colorful celebration of builders, breakers, and the machines they use.

When their dad forgets his lunch box on his way to the construction site, a young brother and sister set out to take it to him, and along their way witness all the noisy, exciting action of a build site in the city. With builders building, breakers breaking, and a whole host of impressive machines and vehicles hard at work, this book bursts with color and offers children plenty to enjoy. In his trademark intricate style, Steve Light captures the satisfaction of working hard to create something new — and, of course, taking a well-deserved break.

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