Metal Man

Metal Man by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Paul Hoppe.

Devon always heads over to where the metal man welds his sculptures.  Today even though it is so very hot, he heads over to watch the sparks fly.  His mother says that everything the metal man makes is junk: junk out of junk.  But Devon still loves spending time there.  This time, the sculptor asks Devon what he wants to make.  He’s never done that before.  Devon has an idea, but is shy about sharing it until the sculptor tells him to "Bring it on out to play."  So Devon tells him about the star house in his mind.  The two set out to build it out of scraps of metal together and when Devon brings it home, his mother has to admit that this certainly isn’t junk.

The text in this book has rhythm, an urban beat that makes for a great read aloud.  The sculptor is a great example of an African-American man who is creative and caring.  A figure too seldom seen in picture books.  Hoppe’s illustrations are thick-lined and nicely capture the wonder on Devon’s face as he sees his idea come to life. 

Recommended as a great book on sculpting, but also a wonderful book about community and it taking a village to raise a child.  Appropriate for ages 5-8.