Busy Builders Construction Site

Boy did I have fun reviewing Busy Builders Construction Site (2016, Silver Dolphin Books) today! Written by Katherine Sully and illustrated by Carles Ballesteros, this nonfiction book is perfect for the little boy or girl in your life who is interested in building.

I’ll be honest. I was a bit skeptical of this book because it came in a kit with some structures kids can build. Far too often, I see book kits like this become nothing more than a gimmick. But Busy Builders Construction Site is a book that I am excited to share with my little one when he gets a little bit older.

What I LOVED about this book was that it goes into detail – and I mean great detail – about the process of building a school. Readers are introduced to the crew and all of the equipment. I must say I learned much from the book. We might all be familiar with a forklift, but are you familiar with the process of fitting the lintels?

I always like thinking about what a text is, and this is something I always try to help my children’s literature students think about. Busy Builders Construction Site is not a traditional children’s picture book. Whereas there is a narrative of some sort, there are also multiple types of texts (e.g., sentences, pictures, signs, font sizes, labels, quote bubbles, etc. ) that complement one another. Here is an example page:

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My students will be designing original children’s books this semester, and I will definitely recommend this text to students who want to write about a process via a nonfiction text.

I always like thinking about pairing books. A text set about construction/building/trucks could include Construction Site, Supertruckand This Bridge Will Not Be Gray. Silver Dolphin Books was also gracious and sent me copies of Busy Builders Fire Station and Busy Builders Airport, which I’m excited to explore.

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