written by Katherine Sully, Chris Oxlade, Timothy Knapman; illustrated by Carles Ballesteros
2016 (Silver Dolphin)
Source: Review copies provided by the publisher
Welcome to the construction site! These workers are going to build a school. Everyone has an important job to do, and the right skills to do it.
Busy Builders is an interactive series of books that I think PreK-1st grade students will really like. All of the materials come in two boxes that also serve as the site for what you are building. The outside box unfolds to provide the grounds of the site while the inside box stands on the spine of the unfolded outside box, providing more scenery. This is a good lesson in recycling as the packing materials are continually used. There are 48 model pieces that will be put together to complete the site. With the Construction Site kit, you are building a school so some of the pieces add to the road. Other pieces will make a school clock, traffic cones and signs, construction equipment like a bulldozer, a digger, and a dumptruck. More pieces will allow you to make stand-alone construction workers and a site dog. All of these materials surround the centerpiece of the kit which is a 32 page book full of informational text about a construction site.
The information is presented in sequential order and includes subjects such as Preparing the Ground, Mixing Machines, Bricks and Mortar, and Power and Water. The last part of the book includes directions for putting the pieces together. I love, love, love that a fun model kit and an informational text came together like syrup and pancakes. This is a great combination! Check out the labels and detailed illustrations in the picture above. There is a ton of new vocabulary (rebar, cables) that is supported by the engaging art work. If you are looking for gift ideas for a PreK-1st grade student, these Busy Builder kits should be something you consider. They would also make a nice center/inside recess station for a K-1 classroom.