Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of Machines Go to Work in the City

machines go to work in the city Machines Go to Work in the City
by William Low; illus. by the author
Preschool     Holt     32 pp.
6/12     978-0-8050-9050-5     $16.99

Books don’t get much better than this for machinery-loving preschoolers. Listeners are first introduced to a particular situation involving vehicles, from a garbage truck to a tower crane to an airplane. What happens next? Lift a flap (which provides an extended scene of the problem at hand) and find out. For example, traffic has stalled because of a broken light. Can a police officer fix the light? Open the flap: “No, when the bucket truck arrives, the signal crew will fix the traffic light.” The tactile component here is thoughtfully varied in ways appropriate to the situation. Some flaps fold out; one depicting a crane using hydraulic jacks for extension flips up; and one, of a vacuum truck draining water from a subterranean broken pipe, opens downward to set the underground scene. Just as they did in Machines Go to Work (rev. 7/09), Low’s painterly illustrations display the drama and excitement of a bustling cityscape. The final spread shows an airplane ready for departure. Once it’s towed to the runway, it takes off and soars over the city, which is unveiled in a glorious finale as youngsters construct the scene by opening four flaps and creating a poster-sized panorama. Back matter shows each vehicle, complete with a definition and labels for important parts.

From the September/October 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

About Betty Carter

Betty Carter, an independent consultant, is professor emerita of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind