Saturday, February 9, 2013

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site: Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld (2011)

            Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site is a children’s picturebook written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld (2011).  After a long day working on the construction site, each of 5 trucks take turns finishing duties and heading to bed.  This book can be classified as a fictional and poetic children’s picturebook. The Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, and Excavator are given human-like characteristics, and readers are able to read the story from the trucks’ perspective of the workday.  Each truck character is described in terms of duties, allowing readers to become familiar with each character on the site.  Rinker and Lichtenheld (2011) use rhyming throughout the story, setting a steady rhythm in place for the winding down construction site; each page contains a stanza for the given character.  Though trucks are the characters in the picturebook, children may view the events as plausible within this fantasy-like text (Galda, Cullinan, & Sipe, 2010). 
            Tom Lichtenheld, illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, has developed pages with images from top to bottom, including vibrant colors. Lichtenheld also uses bold black outline within the illustrations to accentuate each truck.   According to School Library Journal (2013), Lichtenheld’s illustrations are not only textured and detailed, but are “rendered in wax oil pastels on vellum paper”.   Each of the trucks is personified with duties and facial expressions within the book as well.  The illustrator begins the story with all trucks in the illustrations, then focuses on each individually, and ends the day with all of them together again.  The text on the pages is easily read, as the stanzas are written in black or white, depending upon the background colors.  There are even pages where the text is intertwined with the illustrations, creatively allowing the readers eyes to follow the images and narrative.  The illustrator also did a magnificent job of portraying the story within the images, as each pages’ picture follows the stanza. 

(Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site: Tom Lichtenheld)

            My son received this book from his aunt and uncle for Christmas, and we love reading it together!  Not only do children love to look at trucks, but the book gives them a chance to see what “really” happens within the construction site, including the trucks’ bedtime routine.  I feel as though the book also allows these gigantic trucks to be seen in a more personable light, rather than an intimidating piece of machinery that towers over him or her.  Another aspect that I love is the rhyming within the book; I feel as though such books flow so well throughout the entire story, allowing readers to become intrigued about what will happen next.  This book has been used time and time again to get my son cuddled in for bedtime. 
            Sherri Duskey Rinker is a graphic designer who wrote this book after being inspired by her two sons (Goodreads Inc., 2013).  When writing Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, Rinker was determined to help families have sweeter dreams and more pleasant bedtimes.  Though this is Rinker’s first, I look forward to many more! 

(Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site: Tom Lichtenheld)

Below are 2 motivational activities and reader response questions that would be beneficial for students within the classroom:
  1.  The 1st activity would involve each student creating a stanza about his or her bedtime routine.  Students should keep in mind sequencing one’s bedtime routine, adjectives/describing words, and rhyming.  (Each stanza should be approximately 4-6 lines long.)  Each student would then illustrate him or herself getting ready for bed or snuggled into bed.  When all students were complete with the stanza and illustration, the class could create a Goodnight, Goodnight, 1st Graders book. 
                I brush my teeth and wash my face,
                Hop in bed, snuggled in place.
                I think about my fun-filled day,
                Then sleep and dream of lots of play!
  1.  The 2nd activity would be an adjective search.  After first reading the story as a class, the story would then be read slowly a second time.  This time around, students would be expected to identify adjectives/describing words.  With the list, an adjective word wall could be created labeled “Adjectives Under Construction”.  Several adjectives within the story may include weary, dizzy, tough, strong, sleepy, happy, etc. (Rinker and Lichtenheld, 2011).   

Reader Response Questions:
  1.  In what ways do adjectives help to strengthen the story?
  2. Choose one of the characters and sequence his bedtime routine.
  3. What similarities might you find between your bedtime routine and that of the construction trucks?
Galda, L., Cullinan, B.E., & Sipe, L. R. (2010).  Literature and the Child (7th ed.).  Belmont, CA:                      
         Wadsworth, Inc.
Goodreads Inc.  (2013).  Sherri Duskey Rinker.  Retrieved from             
Lichtenheld, T.  (2011).  “Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site”.  [online images].  Retrieved             
         from    construction-site.html
Rinker, S. D., & Lichtenheld, T.  (2011).  Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.  New York, NY:             
         Scholastic Inc.
School Library Journal.  (2013).  Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site: Review.  Retrieved      from    Rinker/dp/0811877825

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