Someone Builds the Dream
By Mandie Caroll,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Lovely tribute to tradespeople has great art, musical text.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Book explores skilled trades like pipe fitting, construction work, carpentry, mining, plumbing, and many more.
It takes a lot of people working together and on different parts to make a thing: a house, a bridge, a book, and so on. Skilled tradespeople are a critical part of our society and culture. Be mindful of all the people that make the things you enjoy. There are so many careers and kinds of work; figure out what you like to do, and pursue your passions.
Positive Role Models
The tradespeople and professionals featured model hard work, dedication, and mastery of their craft. People of all genders, many skin colors, hair styles and textures, and a person in a wheelchair populate the pages of this inclusive book.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Someone Builds a Dream, by award-winning author Lisa Wheeler and best-selling illustrator Loren Long (Otis), honors the critical work of skilled tradespeople such as welders, diggers, smelters, crane operators, electricians, typesetters, and on and on. Yes, we need the architects, scientists, and engineers, but they need people who can bring their ideas and dreams alive, people who know how to pound nails, lay drains, plaster walls, and drive machines. Kids will love the rhyming text and lines that bounce along like a drumbeat. An important treatise on the value of all work, this book is a great way to explore careers, interdependency, and cooperation with kids.
Where to Read
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What's the Story?
SOMEONE BUILDS THE DREAM opens on a scene in which several tractor operators stand in front of their machines, looking out across an undeveloped riverfront landscape on the outskirts of a city, ready to prep the land for something new. Next we see an architect working on a blueprint for a building, then loggers logging, workers planing the wood, and a foundation and beams being set. The book proceeds in this manner, the focus moving from one project to another, featuring all the skilled workers who bring to life the dreams of architects, engineers, sculptors, scientists, and so forth. In these pages, we see, among other things, a bridge, an amusement park, a wind farm, even the very book readers are reading transform from just an idea to near-complete reality, thanks to the many skilled workers along the way.
Is It Any Good?
This gem of a book wows on all fronts as it gently encourages kids to appreciate the skilled trades. The gorgeous cover art of Someone Builds the Dream grabs the reader's attention first. A woman in hardhat stands on an outcropping, back to the reader, a large wrench slung over her shoulder. She's looking at a newly constructed bridge, framed by a cloud-flecked sky, tree-covered mountains, and a meandering river. Her gaze invites the reader to admire the bridge with same wonder and respect that is in her stance. Long's cover art sets the tone for the beautifully drawn pages that follow, and the text sings with a buoyant rhythm, pleasing rhymes, and the repeated reminder that "someone has to build the dream."
Definitely read this one aloud to fully enjoy the musicality of Wheeler's wonderful writing. Young readers will especially delight in the final product that gets "built" — the very book they are reading! All these delights work together to communicate the potent message to remember the hard-working people who create the physical world in which we live, learn, work, and play. This pitch-perfect picture book will please little makers (and their adults) for years to come.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the various careers and types of work featured in Someone Builds the Dream. Which jobs seemed the most interesting? Which kind of work seemed the hardest to do? Could you imagine yourself doing any of the careers shown in this book when you grow up?
What is something you would build if you had all the materials and help you needed?
Talk about the illustrations and the words in the book. Did anything surprise you about the pictures or the story? What did hearing (or reading) the words sound like to you (poetry? music? a speech?). How do the art and the words support each other?
- Author: Lisa Wheeler
- Illustrator: Loren Long
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Science and Nature
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publisher: Dial Books
- Publication date: March 23, 2021
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 5 - 8
- Number of pages: 48
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: May 15, 2021
Did we miss something on diversity?
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