Construction Kitties by Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan
Lynn: I took one look at Construction Kitties (Henry Holt 2013) and knew that it had the youngest member of our focus group, Henry’s, name ALL over it! The only thing Henry loves more than books about monkeys, are books about trucks, cars and big machines! I can’t imagine a little reader who wouldn’t like this one. Kitties AND construction equipment – a winning combination for certain.
No lying around in the sun for these kitties. They are up with the sun and off to work. “Move that dirt!” The construction kitties drive backhoes, crawlers, loaders and dump trucks as their mysterious project takes shape. Big simple figures dominate the pages with their bright colors, emphasized with black outlines. The four kitties take time out for a sardine and milk lunch break and then go back to work. Grown-ups will figure out what is under construction quickly but young readers may not put the pieces of the project together till the end for a happy reveal. The text is simple and stands out clearly from the background. Great as a read aloud or a lap book, I can’t wait to read this with Henry.
Cindy: When I see books like this one arrive in my mailbox I hand them right over to Lynn knowing that I should not get in between the focus group members and the books I know they will love. I did manage to borrow it back, but only because Henry lives 3 hours away. I decided to check out illustrator Shari Halpern’s website and when Lynn takes a peek at that and sees the other tempting books waiting for Henry she’ll need a truck of her own to carry them all to her grandson’s. And the one called I Love Bugs (Harper 2005)–that one has Lynn’s name on it for sure. I remember enjoying It’s Pumpkin Time (Scholastic/Blue Sky 1994) written by Zoe Hall a few years ago. (Time flies when you are having fun, I guess it was really 19 years ago when my oldest child was just 3!) Books like these are so important for our youngest of “readers,” and they are fun as well. See if you can figure out what is being built in Construction Kitties before the final page turns reveal the completed project. I’m sure the lap readers will be flipping back to the beginning to look for all of the assorted parts that created the wonderful whole. Fun stuff indeed!