Someone Builds the Dream
Lisa Wheeler, Author
Loren Long, Illustrator
Dial Books for Young Readers, Fiction, March 23,2021
Suitable for ages: 5-8
Themes: Dreamers, Skilled trade workers, Technicians, Builders, Teamwork, Diversity
Opening: “All across this great big world, jobs are getting done / by many hand in many lands. It takes much more than ONE.”
Book Jacket Synopsis:
A house, a bridge, an amusement park all start as an idea, a sketch, a plan. But what happens next? Someone needs to work the saws and pound the nails. Someone has to build each dream.
This joyous and profound book is an exploration of all the work that happens after someone dreams big — about the skilled laborers who turn a thought into a glorious final product (such as this very book!)
Why I like Someone Builds the Dream:
This is an excellent book to show children how many skilled men and women are involved in the vision, planning, and building of structures around the world. Each job is important. There are architects, engineers, artists, scientists, and designers who create the vision or dream. But then there are the skilled construction workers (builders, electricians, plumbers, machine operators and drivers) who must execute the plans and bring them to life — bridges, theme parks, buildings, houses, and ecological wind farms.
What a wonderful way to introduce the concept of teamwork to children. And each worker’s job is just as important as any other job. Many kids will see their parents in these very important jobs and feel pride in their accomplishments.
The text is snappy. The illustrations are colorful, inviting and detailed as a diverse group work together to bring the visions to life. Kids will enjoy pouring over every double page spread. I hope the author and illustrator team up to do more books like this one, because the possibilities are endless. They may inspire a new generation of workers.
Resources: This is a great classroom book. Ask kids if there are jobs shown that their parents or other family members do? Is there a job they like to do. Ask them to think about the bicycles they ride, the baseball and mitt they play with, the clothing, and shoes and boots they wear. Remember someone made them. Have them draw a picture of a job they might like to do. It reminds me that my grandfather made ice cream at a dairy. My grandmother designed clothing and was a seamstress. Our son is a truck driver, Our grandsons are engineers.
Lisa Wheeler grew up in a family of steel workers and welders, and through this book she hopes that readers will share her deep respect for the nature of labor. She is the author of many beloved picture books, including Jazz Baby (A Geisel Honor Book), Farmer Dale’s Red Pickup Truck, and the Christmas Boot (a Golden Kite Award winner). She lives near Detroit, Michigan.
Loren Long called upon his love of 1930s WPA murals in the painting of this book. One of the most admired children’s book illustrators working today, he has collaborated with many authors, including President Barack Obama, Matt de la Pena, Frank McCourt, and Angela Johnson. His bestselling Otis the Tractor series is in development as an animated TV show. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
*Reviewed from a library copy.