nonfiction nuggets…mighty, magnificent machines

machines go to work in the city cover imageMachines Go to Work in the City, written and illustrated by William Low

Monstrously huge garbage trucks pull up to our houses, collect our trash, and then drive off.  Where do they go?

A massive vacuum truck looms over an open manhole, its giant hose like an elephant’s trunk, snaking down under the pavement.  What’s it doing?

A skyscraper is going up.  To see the top of the crane we have to tip our heads way, way back.  How does it grow tall enough to reach those upper stories?

Kids — and grown-ups! — find these huge, specialized pieces of machinery fascinating.  William Low taps into that curiosity masterfully in this book about machines go to work in the city illustration william lowmachines and their particular jobs.

Amazingly, the text in this book is very brief– just a short sentence or two per page –yet Low packs in lots of absorbing information.  I love that for each machine,  he engages us immediately with a brief observation,  then asks a question that sets us to wondering, then answers the question with a straightforward, matter-of-fact response.  No gushing.  No prattling on and on.  No talking down.

machines go to work in the city illustration2 william lowPlus! It’s got flaps to lift!  I love lifting flaps, and if you have a heart that’s beating, you do, too, right?   We find the answers to each question by lifting huge flaps that unfold new scenes.

Low’s wonderful, painted illustrations are bold, striking, urban scenes with the machines in all their glory taking center stage, and the guys who are using the machines showing us many different examples of  work happening daily in the city.  Some books about machines and trucks lift them out of their normal settings, plaster them on a white background, treat them like a specimen.  This book pulses with the life of the city and I find it far more intriguing.  Low finds the beauty in the cityscapes and the machinery and in the workers, and I love that.

Ages 3 and up will want to read this great book again and again, so machines go to work cover imagehave some tape on hand to mend those flaps!   There’s an earlier book by Low, if you fall in love with this one.

 Here are Amazon links for both of them:

Machines Go to Work in the City
Machines Go To Work