Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site – captivating rhymes and appealing characters abound


One by one, the mighty trucks on a construction site begin to shut down and rest for the day.

Bibliographic Info:  Lichtenheld, Tom & Rinker, Sherri D. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site Simon & Schuster (2011) 32pp.  Formats: Hardcover, ISBN: 978- 0811877824 $16.99, iBook, Kindle, Audible, Audio CD, App  Grade Level Equivalent: 3.4  Interest Level: preK-K  Genre: Bedtime, Rhyming  Themes: Building and Construction, Vehicles

Summary:  From bulldozer to dump truck, the mighty trucks on a construction site begin to shut down and rest for the day.  After each character performs its final job, it drifts off to dream land.

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site was given StorytimeWOW’s Marquee Seal on May 12th, 2015.  This book has been selected for the Picture BookWOW and AppWOW collections on this site.

th-2Review:  In this picture book gem, the setting sun casts a glowing light across the construction site as all the hardworking trucks shut down for the day.  One by one, story readers and listeners meet a colorful cast of truck personalities, including Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, and Excavator.  While celebrating the joy of being a truck on a construction site, the story’s highly rhythmic verse casts a glowing light on the characters as well.  The book’s gentle and textured oil pastel illustrations are unforgettable.  This heartwarming picture book belongs on your family truck fan’s bookshelf.

th-1Storytime:  This picture book makes an ideal read-aloud for vehicle-themed or bedtime-themed storytimes.  It will definitely appeal to all those car and truck-loving toddlers and preschoolers.  It also makes an excellent bedtime book.  Ask children to help you tell the story during the “Goodnight” part of each truck’s mini-chapter.  Say something like “Cement Mixer is going to sleep!  What wish can we all send to Cement Mixer?”  Prompt kids to echo “Goodnight Cement Mixer!” 

th-5Read-alikes:  Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle, Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night?, by Brianna Caplan Sayres, Giraffes Can’t Dance, by Giles Andreae

Links:  Author’s Website, Scholastic, Amazon

Other Review Links:  Common Sense Media, Goodreads, Kirkus App Review,

Why I chose to review this book?  This pajama storytime read-aloud’s captivating rhymes and appealing characters make for excellent group programming and bedtime  reading.

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Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!

Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App – an interactive storytelling extension for the popular Pigeon books

thMo Willems meets Mad Libs to create a ridiculously fun and interactive storytelling experience for kids.

Bibliographic Info:  Willems, Mo  Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App  Hyperion (2011)  Formats: $6.99,  App  Interest Level: PreK-Grade 1  Genre: Comedy and Humor, Spin-off Apps

Summary:  Don’t Let The Pigeon Run This App! is a spin-off of the popular Pigeon series by Mo Willems that began with Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.  With this animated app, children can listen to a randomly generated story featuring the famous Pigeon character or create an origth-1inal story.  Older kids get to use their imaginations and add original vocal pieces to the story, while little kids can play along by answering multiple-choice questions.  Kid’s voices are recorded for playback within the context of the story. The app also features a tutorial about how to draw the Willem’s star pigeon.

th-6Review:  Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App appeals to kids of all ages by presenting users with three types of entertaining story experiences.  These experiences, which range from passive to highly interactive, include:  a pure listening experience, a multiple-choice fill-in-the-blank experience, and a Mad Lib-style voice recording experience.  One nice feature is the app’s “vault” which children can use to save their favorite story creations.  The app includes a wonderful “Draw With Mo” feature that teaches users how to draw the Pigeon character.  The app is brimming with Mo Willems’s silly and exaggerated comedic style.  For example, the child’s “Draw With Mo” drawing later appears in the story as a “priceless piece of art.”  Users may also take a pic of their Pigeon creation to save for posterity.  While this app is both highly engaging and entertaining (for kids of all ages), the number and variety of experiences the user may have with it are limited.

th-2Storytime:  After reading Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, shift to this fun spin-off app to add a storytelling extension that will deepen children’s narrative awareness.  In the app, prompt groups to answer fill-in-the-blanks to create an original (and ridiculously funny) story, then play it back for your group.

Play-alikes: The Monster at the End of This Book (the Little Golden Book, eBook and App), The Wheels on the Bus (App) by Duck Duck Moose

Links:  App websiteth-4

Other Review Links:  Common Sense Media, School Library Journal, MacWorld

I chose to review this app because it came from the genius comedic mind of Mo Willems.

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Black Cat White Cat – an eye-popping parade of felines and opposites

th-7An eye-popping parade of felines teach children basic spatial and temporal opposites.

Bibliographic Info:  Murphy, Chuck  Black Cat White Cat  Little Simon (1998) 10pp  $13.95  Formats:  Hardcover, ISBN-13: 978-0689814150  Interest Level: babies – 8 years old  Genre: Pop-Up  Themes: Cats, Opposites

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1Black Cat White Cat was given the StorytimeWOW Marquee Seal on May 8th, 2015 and has been selected for the PictureBookWOW collection at

Summary:  Black Cat White Cat is a pop-up book that features a simple, yet compelling formula.  On the first page sits a proud black cat. The text reads “Black cat.”  Open the cat/flap and out jumps “White cat” (with corresponding text).  The parade of cats continue to the end of the story with pages such as “High cat”, “Low cat”, “Yes cat, “No cat”, etc…  The final page turn transforms “Young cat” to “Old cat”.

th-12Review:  In the irresistible Black Cat White Cat, Chuck Murphy delivers a juxtaposition of felines and opposites.  This parade of meowing pop-ups cultivates cognitive development while being highly entertaining and engaging.  Murphy is a true master of the pop-up  format.  With Black Cat White Cat, Murphy strikes a formula that makes this title one of his best.  The author/illustrator’s pop-up illustrations effectively communicate a variety of basic opposites.  Kids who already understand these simple opposites will still enjoy Murphy’s unique display of writing and paper engineering genius.  The final page turn is worth the price of the book as “Young cat” magically transforms to “Old cat”.

Storytime:  Black Cat White Cat will make children purr with happiness during storytime.  When delivered as a call and response game, a basic rhythm emerges from the text.  Just have kids repeat each cat phrase, then reveal the opposite (“Black cat”, “White cat”, “Day cat”, “Night cat”, etc…)

Read-alikesColor Surprises by Chuck Murphy, One to Ten by Chuck Murphy, Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

Links:  author’s Linked In page, Amazon

Reviews:  Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I chose this book to include on because kids respond automatically to its rhythmic text and colorful pop-up reveals.

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