There’s something about little boys and trucks – my son knew the difference between a backhoe, front loader and excavator practically before he could talk. We would spend hours just down the street from our house where there was a new home being built, watching the construction, as he offered in-depth commentary about each machines different functions. Needless to say, truck books were a hot ticket item in our house.
I know he would love 'Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site' - wonderfully written in a gentle rhyme by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated beautifully by Tom Lichtenheld - if he hadn’t moved on from cars, trucks and all moving vehicles to computers and video games (oh, how I miss the good ole days). Thankfully, however, a whole new machinery obsessed generation gets to enjoy this book, and best of all, it’s a quiet, lullaby sort of book that parents can share with their child, bringing the day calmly to a close.
All day, the big trucks work down in the construction site, building a building and making a road, but now, "The sun has set, the work is done; It’s time for trucks to end their fun." And one by one we say goodnight to the trucks, first to the crane as he lifts one more beam, then "…slowly folds his boom back in, And then with one last sleepy grin, He tucks himself in nice and tight…Then cuddles up and says goodnight…. goodnight, Crane Truck, Goodnight." We say goodnight to the cement mixer and the dump truck, the bulldozer and the excavator, each of them finishing up the last bit of work before settling sleepily into bed. Boys (and probably some girls!) will love seeing the wonderfully friendly illustrated faces of these trucks dozily ready for sleep. I imagine my son would whisper goodnight to each truck in turn, quietly helping to tuck them into bed. And as the book continues, "Turn off your engines, stop your tracks, Relax your wheels, your stacks, and backs, No more huffing and puffing, team: It’s time to rest your heads and dream”, I imagine parents slowly reading these last few lines, their voices lowering to a soothing whisper, the perfect good night lullaby for a young truck lover. With one last, "Construction site, all tucked in tight, The day is done, turn off the light," there would be one last kiss as he is lulled into a peaceful sleep, dreaming about these marvelous machines.
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Illustrated by Tim Lictenheld
Published by Chronicle Books
Recommended for ages 2-6
Reviewed by Jenny Tananbaum