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Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site (Hardcover Books for Toddlers, Preschool Books for Kids) Hardcover – Picture Book, May 4, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 15,974 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon.com Exclusive Essay: From the Slush Pile to #1: Realizing My Vision. Or Not.
First-time author Sherri Duskey Rinker's Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site steadily climbed up the New York Times' Bestseller list throughout 2011, reaching #1 on January 29th, 2012. Here she shares the early inspiration that inspired a career in design, and how another artist brought her vision to life.

I grew up loving picture books.

I can still hear my grandmother's voice over the sound of the pages turning, the old wind-up Westclox alarm clock ticking away and the sound of traffic rolling down Howard Street. I remember the smell of books mingling with the smell of freshly laundered sheets.

Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House was my favorite, and I obsessed over the whimsically sweet illustrations of that little pink house happily sitting upon a hill covered in daisies.

Inspired, I wanted to be an artist. I also wanted to be a poet, an art teacher, and a journalist. The ping-pong ball of art vs. words ended with a career as a graphic designer. It was a perfect fit: I took pictures and words and put them together in a pretty way.

I met an artist, a photographer. He also had grown up with Virginia Burton: Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel. It was a sign. So I married him. We had two boys and two good excuses for buying dozens (and dozens) of picture books.

Inspired by my youngest son's tireless (literally!) obsession with trucks, I wrote Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site in stolen moments during the workday and late at night, after the boys were tucked in. And with the words emerged a vision (dare I say "obsession") for how the book and my trucks would look.

I could see it so clearly: realistic illustrations of trucks superimposed with facial expressions to convey the mood and create the characters. Strong, yet simple graphic elements to create the setting. A bit of realism. A bit of collage. A bit of a grunge to compliment the dirty work of the trucks. I included the concept illustration with my manuscript and sent it, unsolicited, to Chronicle Books.

When my editor contacted me, three months after I'd sent the manuscript, she was friendly, but also to-the-point: They loved the manuscript (!), and hated (though she used a nicer word) the illustration concept.

Hmm...

One of the reasons that Chronicle was the first (and ultimately only) publisher on my list was that I LOVE their picture books. I appreciate their beauty and high production values. So, I had a choice here: trust, or walk away. I chose trust--with a big dash of fear.

My editor asked if I had any ideas for illustrators. I sent her a dozen names and online portfolios. I'm pretty certain she ignored me. And, they chose Tom Lichtenheld. (Who?)

When I told my editor that I'd never heard of Tom, she quickly emailed a few examples. The first was from Tom's NYT best-selling book, Duck! Rabbit! I was stunned to see bold, simple shapes and thickly-outlined illustrations. I stared blankly at the screen, feeling my heart sink.

Could this guy even draw a truck?

I spent the next couple of months intently focused on the process of editing and developing the final manuscript. But it was always there, in the back of my mind: What would the book look like? What had I given up?

One evening I received an excited email from my editor with Tom's first pencil sketch attached.

I wrote back: "I’m scared. I'll pour a glass of wine and then look at it."

I held my breath and double-clicked. And there it was: classic, timeless and tender, with just a touch of whimsy. My crane truck, a distant, younger cousin to Mike Mulligan, perhaps? My heart melted. I was won over.

So there it was: nothing like I imagined. But it was better. I've come to learn that some of the best things in life--like marriage and motherhood--are like that.

And I could almost feel Mrs. Burton smiling down.

Little House
Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House
Mike Mulligan
Virginia Lee Burton's Mike Mulligan's steam shovel
Concept Sketch
Rinker's original vision for Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
Duck Rabbit
Illustrator Tom Lichtenheld's Duck! Rabbit!
Crane
Lichtenheld's first sketch of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

Review

"Rinker's rhythmic verse reinforces the vehicles' love of their work (Dump Truck "moves the dirt/ from place to place,/ Then dumps it with a happy face") and, like Lichtenheld's art, deftly balances the story's boisterous and drowsy elements. Truck lovers will happily nod off to the strains of this read-aloud." - Publishers Weekly

"Perfect for sleepers who are more fascinated by the motorized and muddy than by the soft and fluffy. A certain subset of parents and grandparents will see this book and shout, "At last!" - Chicago Tribune

"An ideal bedtime book for all those truck-loving toddlers and preschoolers! ...If there's a truck fan in your family, this is a great pick... Drive it to the top of your pile of story time truck reads as well." - Waking Brain Cells blog

"A delightful debut." - The New York Times

"Gentle rhymes and soft-colored pictures of favorite trucks are the perfect way to lull any child into sweet dreams." - Bookmarkable blog,

"For all those youngsters who feel coziest with a cement mixer jammed into an armpit and a dump truck wedged at their feet, Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site might be the best bedtime book ever." - Hampton Roads

"Lichtenheld's detailed and textured illustrations, rendered in wax oil pastels on vellum paper, perfectly complement the fun, rhyming text, cleverly personifying each truck with expressive eyes and amusing details. ...Recommended for vehicle- and bedtime-themed storytimes, this is sure to be a hit with truck-loving preschoolers." - School Library Journal, starred review

" A standout picture book, especially for those who like wheels with their dreams" - Booklist, starred review

"This book is a treasure." -Testy Yet Trying blog

"If your little reader is mad for trucks, you must get this gem of a book!" -SweetOnBooks.com

"A fast-favorite for your littlest builder."-- Reader's Digest

"Your child WILL become obsessed and incessantly request Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Sitenight after night." -Good Housekeeping

"A great read-aloud story as you are settling your child in for the night." -About.com

" Truck-loving kids will respond to this take on settling down to sleep. " - The Horn Book Guide

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Chronicle Books; 1st Edition (May 4, 2011)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0811877825
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0811877824
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 1 - 6 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ AD610L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 15.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 10 x 0.38 x 10.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 15,974 ratings

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Sherri lives in the Chicago area with her photographer husband and two sons. She's constantly inspired -- and often exhausted! Her books are love stories for her children, written to wrangle some smiles and with the hopes of happier bedtimes and sweet dreams for all.

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
15,974 global ratings
5 star
92%
4 star
6%
3 star
2%
2 star 0% (0%) 0%
1 star 0% (0%) 0%
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2018
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239 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on June 20, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is super cute. The story line is catchy
By Karla on June 20, 2018
This book is super cute. The story line is catchy, and the vibrant colors and illustrations really make storytime enjoyable. My son absolutely loves this book, we read it every night b4 bed. 😊
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68 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on December 9, 2018
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1.0 out of 5 stars Printed UPSIDE DOWN!!
By JGV on December 9, 2018
Received my book printed upside down! So disappointing. I’d really like a refund or a replacement or something. This was supposed to be a gift! It’s an embarrassment.
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46 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 17, 2018
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34 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on July 30, 2019
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12 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on July 8, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars My son loves this book!
By Waffles on July 8, 2019
My 2 year old son loves this book! Bought it in hopes of helping our bedtime routine. Instead he wants to read it all the time. He asks for it randomly during the day. He tries to read it to himself which is adorable. He just talks about what he sees on the pages. Nice book, and want to buy the other construction site book, but NEED it to be a board book.
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15 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 23, 2016
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87 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 26, 2020
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6 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Angela E Arsenault
4.0 out of 5 stars Super cute story. But remember girls like big rigs too!
Reviewed in Canada on February 15, 2020
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70 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars A charming read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 22, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars A charming read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 22, 2020
Really happy with the book, it's a lovely size and good quality. The story offers a rhythmic pattern in each page with clear, simple and eye catching illustrations.
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4 people found this helpful
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Ala
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story, but small font in the board book version!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 13, 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story, but small font in the board book version!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 13, 2021
The story itself is really good as are the illustrations, but this particular board book was a lot smaller than expected (my fault for not reading the measurements). That in itself is not an issue, however, I personally found the font to be unnecessarily small and difficult to read - especially in dim lighting which is what we use to read to our toddler at bedtime. I love the actual story though so I am returning this one and buying the hardcover instead!

I know that for some small font is not an issue, so here is a picture of it next to a couple of other board books for reference so you can decide for yourself how small the font is!
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m
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute
Reviewed in Canada on November 7, 2020
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15 people found this helpful
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Mrs H
5.0 out of 5 stars A really lovely rhyming story about construction site vehicles
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 7, 2019
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One person found this helpful
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