Book Review: Dig, Dump, Roll, by Sally Sutton, with illustrations by Brian Lovelock

Available in bookshops nationwide. 

cv_dig_dump_roll.jpgFrom the bestselling creators of Roadworks, the series of books that feature all sorts of trucks and earthmoving equipment, Dig, Dump, Roll is sure to please.

With its bold illustrations and made-to-be-read-out-loud text, Dig, Dump, Roll is a joy. For example – ‘bang-a-shudder, clang-a-judder, what’s at work? Here’s a clue: it will dig big holes for you.’ Turn the page to find ‘Digger! Digger! Coming through!’

There are bulldozers, diggers, dump trucks, rollers, concrete mixers and builders – and what are they building? Somewhere you can learn and play – a school!

This will delight younger children if whoever is reading the book puts a bit of effort into making the noises that go with each piece of machinery, and for those a little older, a page at the back of the book shows different parts of the items featured.

Dig, Dump, Roll is filled with bright, colourful illustrations that bring the machinery to life for all ages. A nice touch is the fact the illustrations show both men and women driving the machinery.

Reviewed by Faye Lougher

Dig, Dump, Roll
by Sally Sutton, with illustrations by Brian Lovelock
Published by Walker Books
ISBN 9781760650803

Book Review: Gecko, by Raymond Huber and Brian Lovelock

Available in bookshops nationwide.

cv_geckoAs well as being the story of a gorgeous wee fella named Gecko, this book is complemented by all sorts of wonderful information about Geckos themselves, thereby covering two bases at once.

We join Gecko on his adventures as he lives the Gecko life, especially his desire and need for food. It isn’t all plain sailing as he encounters those for whom he would make a delicious meal.

We traverse Day and Night, rocks, leaves and various trees and surfaces that Gecko encounters, each accompanied by a fact that adds to our knowledge. Gecko has a rich, vibrant text, coupled with beautifully detailed illustrations. The colours used are mixed with a very creative hand, and the shadings are exquisite.

A delightful book that should find a home in both a child’s bedroom and a school/public library, it can be used in any reading environment and as a shared read it would work wonderfully.

Reviewed by Marion Dreadon

by Raymond Huber and Brian Lovelock
Published by Walker Books
ISBN 9781925126556

Book Review: Ambulance, Ambulance!, by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock

cv_ambulance_ambulanceAvailable now in bookshops nationwide.

There’s been a crash, the ambulance is to the rescue. Sirens blaring, it reaches the site of the accident. A child has fallen off his bicycle.

‘Bleep, bleep, Emergency!
News just through:
Crash, crash, there’s been a crash.
Let’s go, crew!
Nee nar nee nar nee nar nee nar… ‘

I read this book to Quinn who at 2 ½ years of age is always falling off or over something – often her own two feet or off her bike. Fortunately, it’s never been anything major: nothing that a cuddle and a sticking plaster doesn’t solve. She loved this book and couldn’t get enough of the story, with me having to read it several times.

The illustrations are bright and colourful, and fit in very well with the accompanying text.

The author Sally Sutton and illustrator Brian Lovelock are the  award-winning creators of  bestsellers Roadworks, Demolition and Construction – all favourites.

Reviewed by Christine Frayling

Ambulance, Ambulance
by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock
Published by Walker Books
ISBN 9781925126303

Book Review: Construction, by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Brian Lovelock

Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock will be at the Wellington Storylines Family Day this Sunday 24 August. The Children’s Bookshop will be selling this book there, but it is not released into other stores until Monday 1 September. 

A few years ago I knew nothing about pre-school construction books, but since having my son – a serious collector of anything to do with diggers – I feel I can claim expert status.cv_construction

Construction is the new children’s book by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock, the pair who created the award-winning Roadworks and its followup, Demolition. Sutton has been quoted as saying, ‘For me, language is music. I want my books to sound good!’ This is certainly the case with Construction, which is noisy and energetic. Aimed at ages two to five, the story follows the construction of a library, from a digger first breaking the ground, to the building’s roof going on. At the end of the story a group of children visit the new library: ‘Ready … Steady … Read!’

Construction uses a similar structure to that of Roadworks – a description of the action followed by onomatopoeic words – and while this isn’t original, it’s certainly effective. The repetition and rhyme allows pre-schoolers to easily learn the story, and they will be excited to make these sounds along with the reader. As a parent, the book is fun to read aloud. For example, the first page: ‘Dig the ground. Dig the ground. Bore down in the mud. Shove the piles in one by one. Slip! Slap! Thud!’

Brian Lovelock has created the book’s illustrations with pigmented inks, and the bright colours and paint splatter effect are textural and interesting. While both my son and I enjoyed making the loud noises, it was Lovelock’s illustrations that held our interest. My son asked about many of the details and this allowed me to talk to him about the different aspects of the construction process. Through the illustrations Lovelock brings concrete mixers, diggers, trucks, powertools, and a pair of very splattered painters to life. The painters page is probably my favourite: ‘Glug! Glop! Gloop!’

Lovelock’s style is three dimensional and technical, and he often uses perspective to create interest. We see the library roof being fitted from a bird’s-eye-view, while the illustration of the skill-saw is a closeup. These are wonderfully open and generous illustrations. One of the most positive aspects of the book is the female builders, some of who are in charge of the action. This is a change from other picture books about heavy machines or building sites, which often have all male characters. The book’s final message, that “the library’s here for everyone” and kids can “borrow all you need,” is also different from other building books, which often focus on the machines and noise. It’s a sweet reminder that it was a book that let us see into the world of construction.

Written by Sarah Jane Barnett

Written by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Brian Lovelock
Walker Books, 2014
$15.99 RRP, hardback
ISBN 9781922077301

Book Review: Flight of the Honey Bee, by Raymond Huber, illustrated by Brian Lovelock

Flight of the Honey Bee is a finalist in the non-fiction category of the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. It is available in bookstores nationwide.

A beautifully told, deliciously renderedweb_Flight of the Honey Bee cover book about a day-in-the-life of a young bee is a finalist in the
New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Flight of the Honey Bee, by Raymond Huber and Brian Lovelock should be on your child’s book list.

Grand swashes of colour with lovely attention to detail fill the pages. Usually that’s enough in a children’s book to have me enamoured. But it’s the well-crafted story that impresses me the most. This is a creatively fact-filled affair that gives my kids a great impression of just what a bee’s life is like.

“She settles on a velvety petal and plunges her head into the flower. Here is the sunken treasure: a cup of sweet nectar. The tip of her tongue shaped liked a miniature spoon, sips the syrup ”

It really does thrill me to find a book that gives an accurate picture of what happens in the natural world and steers very clear of anthropomorphism. I do regularly get irked by animals exhibiting human emotion and behaviours.

My 3-year-old loves the book. Older children will too. And parents, I’m sure you’ll be learning a whole lot too about one animal our lives are so dependent upon.

Review by Anna Butterfield

Flight of the Honey Bee
by Raymond Huber, illustrated by Brian Lovelock
Published by Walker Books
ISBN 9781921529665