Mighty Dads

illus. by James Dean. 40p. Scholastic. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545609685; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9780545612913.
PreS-Gr 1—The dads at this construction site teach by example and encourage their youngsters to strive to do their best. For example, there's Excavator Big, who "helps little Vator dig./They go/ scoop,/scoop,/scoop." The patterned text continues in this vein, "Steamroller Brave/shows little Roller how to pave./They go roll,/roll,/ roll." Other father-and-son teams include Bulldozer and Dozy, Boom Truck and Boomer, Cement Mixer and Mixie, Dump Truck and Dumpy, Backhoe and Hoe-Hoe, Grader and Grady, Forklift and Forky. The action verbs and sound effects (crash, bang, boom!) abound as the adults demonstrate how to get jobs done and extol the virtues of being "strong," "steady," and "true-blue," in addition to being "brave" and "wise." The heavy-outlined cartoon artwork depicts the machines prominently profiled and personified on the page with a simply drawn eye in the passenger-side window or windshield (the only white space on most spreads). There is nothing out of the ordinary about the rhyme or the artwork, but the message of "Mighty Dads say,/'I'm proud of you!/ Tomorrow let's build/something new!'" is just the ticket for vehicle-obsessed youngsters who can't get enough of construction play.—Luann Toth, School Library Journal
"Boom Truck Tall / helps Boomer crash a wall. / They go / crash, / bang, / boom!" A series of occasionally disorienting rhymes describe the work of father trucks and their lookalike apprentice offspring. The illustrations (by Pete the Cat's creator) have a studied coarseness about them and will please kids and parents alike.

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