Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Construction Alphabet

The Construction Alphabet

Jerry Pallotta
Illustrator:  Rob Bolster 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
Charlesbridge Publishing, 2006   ISBN: 978-1570914386

Many young children have a deep and abiding affection for machines that are used in construction work. Diggers, loaders, back hoes; they are all considered to be the 'coolest' vehicles around, and countless toy versions of these machines are used to build roads, dams, and other features in sand boxes and on beaches all over the world.

For every letter of the alphabet the author of this book features a construction machine of some kind, and for most of them he provides sound effects as well – which any seasoned construction machine fan will appreciate. Thus, on the R page, we get to meet a road cutter, which is a machine that is so large and powerful "it can cut though asphalt and concrete." The author then goes on to tell us that the road cutter makes a high pitched "eeng, eeng, eeng... " sound.

Plenty of fascinating comments and facts can be found throughout the book. For example, on the L page the author describes the laser that crews use to make sure that their lines are straight when they build roads, bridges, buildings, and tunnels. He then goes on to mention that is must have been incredibly difficult for the ancient Egyptians to build their pyramids without such a device.

Sprinkled with humorous comments and observations, this well written and carefully illustrated book will surely warm the hearts of children who cannot resist watching a cement mixer, a tower crane, or a grader at work.