Construction equipment has long been a favorite of little readers and D is for Dump Truck takes children on an A to Z exploration of a fun backyard construction site.
What could be more fun than building a tree-house and learning what tools and equipment you would need to get the job done? It sometimes surprises me what my children love in a book. I am usually a decent guesser when it comes to what Brooke and Brie will like; after all, they remind me constantly. However, there are the occasional times when I realize that all of us have so many different things we want to learn and explore so I shouldn’t have been that shocked when Brooke really wanted to read a book about construction tools! She is an artist and likes to create things and recently told me she wanted a child’s woodworking kit on her Christmas list. Cool, I thought, yet a little curious since this request seemed to come out of the blue. After reading D is for Dump Truck (I think the title was what initially drew her in) I realized that perhaps Brooke’s interest in building will be an area she will want to keep exploring and I think that is great!
Brooke is quite the little reader as a first grader and D is for Dump Truck may be an alphabet book, but it deserves the suggested reading level of first grade with a child interest level of up to third grade. Each page starts with the letter of the alphabet with the name of a construction tool with an illustration and detailed explanation of each tool’s use. There are obvious tools like ‘Tape Measure’ and the not-so-obvious ones like ‘Front-End Loader’ explored. Brooke was quick to pick up that the book (which explains each tool in a four sentence poem) was following one construction site in a family’s backyard! She was excited to see a child’s tree-house keep expanding and was interested in how each tool helped in this project. This isn’t your typical tree-house and the project includes an observation deck, a swing, and a patio!
Brooke was interested in doing a project like this at home although I did have to explain I don’t know a great deal about building our own tree-house, but this was definitely something I’d like to know more about. I also talked about how her grandpa (my dad) spends a lot of time doing wood-working projects and although he never built us a tree-house, I actually did build myself one when I was a tween. I explained how the tree’s shape made it very easy for me to wedge in a wood slab for a floor (we had a woods in the backyard of our house, so there were lots of trees to chose from) and how my dad’s tools and wood samples made it a decent yet definitely shoddy job. It was certainly a decent looking tree-house for a child at age 11 to make and I do have pictures of it and both my little sister and I could play in it without fear of it totally falling apart! Ha! The illustrations in the book are fun to explore and I liked being able to remember and talk to Brooke about my own wood-working projects. D is for Dump Truck was a surprise favorite read of Brooke’s and the fun poems give young readers an A-Z blueprint of just would they might need for this and other family projects. Who knew that my six-year old would be thrilled with an up close and personal look into a construction site?! Love!
About the Author: Mike Shoulders spent his childhood traveling in an army family to Fort Knox, KY, Fort Chaffee, AR, two visits to Germany, and Fort Campbell, KY. Mike graduated from Northwest High School (Clarksville, TN) in 1972 and earned a degree in education from Austin Peay State University (Clarksville, TN) in 1976. He taught for 14 years and then worked as an instructional supervisor until 2005. Mike earned his doctoral degree from Tennessee State University (Nashville, TN) in 2004. He lives in Clarksville, TN. Learn more about him at www.michaelshoulders.com.
About the Illustrator: Kent Culotta has worked as an artist for newspaper and film, and in the animation industry. His first gallery exhibition came at the age of 5 on his parent’s living room wall. His children’s books include Busy Trucks on the Go. He lives in Southern California. You can learn more about Kent at www.kentculotta.com.
List Price: $ 16.99 (eBook Available)