Reviews for What Can a Crane Pick Up?


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
What can a crane pick up? According to this book, anything and everything. Dotlich's energetic, smoothly rhyming text is well matched with Lowery's childlike mixed-media illustrations. The images of happy, friendly-looking machines (and animals, planets, and underpants) are irresistible; the playful hand-lettered verse is full of silly surprises. Lowery's subdued palette balances the wacky scenes of smiley cranes taking on the challenges.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #6
What can a crane pick up? The answer, according to this book, is anything and everything. Sure, a crane can hoist a truck or two or three. But how about "a truck / a train / a car / a plane"? "Men in business suits... / and a load of cowboy boots"? No problem! Dotlich's energetic, smoothly rhyming text is well matched with Lowery's engagingly childlike mixed-media illustrations. The images of happy, friendly-looking machines (as well as people, animals, planets, and underpants) are irresistible; the playful hand-lettered verse is full of silly surprises. Dotlich is in full control of the action: she knows just when to up the silliness and when to ease off the throttle a bit. Similarly, Lowery's subdued palette helps balance the wacky scenes of smiley cranes taking on the challenges in the text. For preschoolers who love imagining bigger and better construction feats of strength (perhaps along the lines of "Could a crane lift our house?...How about our whole entire street?"), this book will definitely pick up storytime spirits, no question about it. kitty flynn Copyright 2012 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 August #2
This is the sort of book readers co-write along with the author. Children already know how to play this game. If they like construction vehicles, then any time they look at a large object, they're probably thinking, "Could a crane pick that up?" A truck, of course, and another truck and yet another truck, and even "a railroad car, if it gets stuck." On Dotlich goes, upping the ante, until she asks, "Can a crane pick up a crane?" By the end of the book, the crane has lifted a crane, a polar bear and a submarine. Most readers will be impressed, but children who play the game year-round will wonder why it didn't pick up a brachiosaurus or a pirate ship or a wagon full of elephants. But items like "an ancient mummy's case" and "boxes and boxes of underwear" will satisfy them. Sometimes an entire page is covered with objects, as though the artist couldn't stop drawing. Even the words of the story are scattered all over the page. This can make the rhythmic, pleasingly rhymed text fragmented and difficult to follow, but most of the time, it gives the story an energy that's hard to resist. For some children, however, the real excitement will come after they've reached the last page and their grown-up asks, "What else can a crane pick up?" Children will ask to read this book many times, but the words may change every time they read it. (Picture book. 2-7) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 July #4

All hail the crane! It may be a simple machine, but its answer to every question that Dotlich (Bella & Bean) asks--channeling readers' wide-eyed inquisitiveness--is yes. "Can a crane pick up a crane? It could!/ And billions of bundles of builders' wood./ How about poles and pipes and bricks?/ To a crane, it's a game of pick-up sticks." Lowery's (Moo Hoo) scraggly handwritten typography gives visual voice to the combination of hero worship and incredulity that drives each question, while his cranes, naïf in styling but detailed enough to hold the attention of young construction aficionados, go about their business with unflappable smiley faces (seldom have two dots and a upturned arc eloquently communicated so much muscular confidence). As cranes work wonders at construction sites, county fairs, ports, and railroad tracks--all rendered in sunny, saturated colors and reassuring black outlines--it's clear that this machine lives in the best of all possible worlds: where happiness is busyness, calm competence prevails, and no job is too small. Sign us up. Ages 1-4. Agent: Deborah Warren, East West Literary Agency. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 September

PreS-K--Smiling, anthropomorphic machines romp through the pages of this rhyming text, showing the many things a crane can pick up, from trucks to cars and trains to planes, from sunken ships and mummy cases to a space shuttle. Sometimes they lift up a polar bear or cartons and cartons of underwear. Cranes can even pick up other cranes. Lowery's pencil, silk screen, and digital-media art makes excellent use of flat, retro colors-blue, green, brown, gold, yellow, and gray-and seamlessly integrates the type into the design. The humorous text is just the ticket for toddler storytimes, although some of the rhymes seem a bit forced. The imaginative, lighthearted illustrations are the real draw here and will be a big hit with construction-site lovers. They're sure to want to hear this one again and again.--Sharon Grover, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, WI

[Page 112]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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