Monday, December 30, 2013


Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

(Chronicle Books, 2011)

If Goodnight Moon and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovelbore a picture book child, this would be it. This is a bedtime story for little ones who pass the day digging and building in sandboxes with tough trucks that create, demolish and rebound all to a soundtrack of animated whirrs and booms.

There is a time when construction workers, both young and old, must call it a day and when, as imagined by author Rinker, the powerful vehicles must shut down for the night.

The sun has set, the work is done;

It’s time for trucks to end their fun.

So one by one they’ll go to bed

To yawn and rest their sleepy heads

Her rhyming tale features the day’s end rituals of Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer and Excavator. Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, each vehicle takes on a human quality as front windows or headlights become eyes and front hoods transform to mouths. When each engine shuts off, the reader says, Shh...goodnight, ________, goodnight.

My favorite illustration shows Crane Truck asleep while clutching a teddy bear as a shining star acts as a nightlight dangling from the boom hook. Having tossed and turned through a restless sleep last night, I feel complete envy for this endearingly sweet image.

No doubt, this will be a popular read night after night. I can envision parent and child whispering goodnight to each truck before the parent provides the final tucks and bids the child, “Shh...goodnight, _____, goodnight.” And,...lights out.

Who knows what construction projects await in the little one’s dreams?!

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