Machines at Work Board Book

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3 Responses to Machines at Work Board Book

  • E. R. Bird "Ramseelbird" says:
    15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Construction for the young ‘uns, June 12, 2005
    By 
    E. R. Bird “Ramseelbird” (Manhattan, NY) –
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    This review is from: Machines at Work (Hardcover)

    When you write as many reviews of children’s books as I do (and is there any more pompous way to begin a sentence, I wonder) you sometimes find yourself at a loss for words when it comes to the simpler ones. And author/illustrator Byron Barton is, if nothing else, the patron saint of picture book straightforwardness. There is no wry undertone to a Barton book. No sly wit. No winks or nods to parents and educators beneath the simple childlike text. Nope. Byron Barton is an author that writes stories for children and children alone. In “Machines At Work”, Barton (who’s millions of books have covered every topic from planes to dinosaurs) tackles that perpetual toddler fascination – – the worksite.

    In this particular book, we observe a wide variety of small workers (male, female, white, black, etc.) off to work. Some climb readily into their machines. Others dictate instructions from below. For this day, the workers knock down a building, bulldoze trees, dump rubble, take a lunch break, build a building, and build a road (amongst other activities). Then the expressionless crew heads for home after a long and satisfying day. Says the text, “More work tomorrow”.

    The book begins with the sentence, “Hey, you guys!”. For those parents amongst you who remember the heyday of that classic PBS show, “The Electric Company”, you know how best to read that line. Otherwise, the sentences in this book tend to be instructions. The narrator (and, hence, the child reading the book) tells the little people what to do and they do it. I was intrigued by the prior reviewer of this book who commented that though we see the workers apparently build a road and building, no final product is ever shown at the end. It would be nice to see the result of all this work. Obviously Barton thinks kids would be far more interested in the breaking down and building up than in the end products. I was also a little amazed at the amount of destruction in this book as opposed to the significantly smaller amount of construction.

    But these aren’t really criticisms. If you’ve a kid who likes machines that go vroom and boom, it’s hard to find fault with this book. There are plenty of simple words with thick black lines for kids to understand. No, it won’t name the machines one by one. You’ll have to find a different book for that. Still, it’s a nice enough preschool title to entrance those kiddies who’re already enamored of these friendly agents of destruction. A simple text that is certain to find a wide appreciative audience.

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  • Tony Johnson "Norwegian Blue" says:
    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Simplicity is its strong suit!, September 15, 2006
    By 
    Tony Johnson “Norwegian Blue” (Maryland) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Machines at Work Board Book (Board book)

    When I first got this for my son (2 years), I thought “What a snooze-fest!” We were still high on the Mo Willems wave, still in love with Knuffle Bunny and the slightly off-kilter viewpoint of the Pigeon, so the utter barrenness and simplicity of Machines at Work honestly put me off. But, as it is all about the baby (and don’t he know it!), Connor simply loves it! Although he is fickle (we have now moved on to the pop-up Bug series by David A. Carter) it firmly held the New Boy Times #1 bedseller slot for a good 3 weeks (an eternity to the toddler set). It also was known to douse many a tantrum (great diversion – “I know you just ka-bonked your head on the dining room table for the fortieth time today, but LOOK AT THESE COOL TRUCKS!”) and entertain on long car rides.

    The story (as it is) involves a diverse work crew doing stuff with simple 4-5 word narration for each page. It is so simple, it is almost zen-like. And Connor came to be able to repeat each phrase as we turned the page – as soon as I opened the cover he would gleefully shoud out “Hey, you guys!”. Reading this to him at bedtime has become one of the fondest memories of my fatherhood experience, and hopefully one of my son’s funnest moments.

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  • Anonymous says:
    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    3 1/2 Year Old Loves this Book, February 16, 2002
    By A Customer
    This review is from: Machines at Work Board Book (Board book)

    My 3 1/2 year old loves this book. And I love it too. For me, it’s fun and easy to read. There is only one sentence on each set of pages, and it is in large letters. After each page that I read, my son repeats it. I don’t mind reading this one again and again.

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