B Is for Bulldozer by June Sobel

Book Details

HMH Books for Young Readers (May 2003)
ISBN 0152022503

Paperback Edition (May 1, 2006)
ISBN 0152057749

Board Book Edition (September 3, 2013)
ISBN 0544108086

Lap Board Book (January 2, 2018)
ISBN 1328770524

B Is for Bulldozer

By June Sobel
Illustrated by Melissa Iwai


Get ready for a ride through the alphabet at a busy construction site. There’s a big yellow Bulldozer, a tall shiny Crane, and a rusty red Dump truck—and the construction crew is hard at work. But what are they building? Join the excitement as the workers build, scoop, and dig their way from A to Z

  • A Children’s Book of the Month Club selection
  • A Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year


Publisher’s Weekly

Perhaps the only thing better than watching a construction site is knowing that it will result in a new amusement park. With that premise, first-time author Sobel joins veteran Iwai (Night Shift Daddy) in a trip through the alphabet: “Do you see the Asphalt for paving the road?/ or the big shiny Bulldozer pushing a load?” Iwai’s emphasis on the interplay of shapes and colors make her pictures especially appealing for youngest eyes, but even connoisseurs will revel in the Matchbox-like appearance of the equipment and the wide variety of angles and perspectives used throughout the book. One particularly striking picture puts a hoisted I-beam smack in the foreground. Following Sobel’s lead, Iwai prefers to zero in on the construction action rather than provide an overall feel for how the park is progressing from spread to spread. However, readers can gauge the passage of time by the seasonal changes in the land outside the chain-link safety fence, and by the corresponding wardrobe changes of the observers. By “S,” youngsters “see the Scaffolds come down,” and in the final pages, the civilians finally get to reap the benefits: “Z” stands for the “Z-O-O-M!!!!!!!” of the new park’s roller coaster. Ages 2-5. (May)

School Library Journal

PreSchool-K – Two youngsters stand outside a fence watching a construction crew perform its many tasks, sometimes stopping for lunch or coffee. They are joined by neighbors and passersby, fathers and children, mothers with strollers, and kids with dogs. Each page has about 10 words of text with one brightly colored letter of the alphabet in uppercase font. Many aspects of the construction work are covered, from “Asphalt” to “Tools,” and then readers can enjoy the completed amusement park from “Scaffolds” coming down to the “Z-O-O-M” of the roller coaster. As the work progresses, the change of seasons is reflected in the countryside and in the clothing worn. The full-bleed, naive artwork in bright acrylics depicts the vast scene from many angles, showing a close-up view of a squirrel in a tree or a distant patchwork quilt of a farm, but the construction activities always hold center stage. This is a well-thought-out story that allows children to follow the progression of events. There is a wonderful sense of community as the workers cooperate to get the job done and the neighborhood folks avidly watch at first and then enjoy the finished product. A great choice for individual and group sharing.

Kirkus Review

Delivered in verse, this is a heavy-machinery–lover’s ABC. The consecutive letters of the alphabet are written into the rhyming text and brightly highlighted in large case. “Do you see the Asphalt for paving the road, or the big shiny Bulldozer pushing a load?” So begins the work on the construction project. Throughout the seasons of a year, children with friends, family, and pets watch the workers as they proceed through the complex process of building. Newcomer Sobel has missed none of the details a young aficionado would revel in, from huge loaders to nails to pipes. The construction workers are multi-ethnic as well as male and female. Finally, opening day arrives and those who have waited patiently behind the safety fences can at last enjoy the fun final product, an amusement park. Iwai’s two-page spreads reveal her talent for painting people as well as details of vehicles and with creamy oils she also subtly depicts the changing seasons. From Asphalt to Zoom, this first-rate read-aloud will delight its audience. (Picture book. 3-6)

Teacher Guidelines

This links offers lots of great construction inspired classroom activities for Pre-K students: