Review: Machines Go to Work in the City by William Low

machines go to work in the city

Machines Go to Work in the City by William Low

This is an inventive look at machines, combining it with large flaps to open and questions to engage.  Low looks at one machine after another that works in the city and then asks a question about it.  The questions are not simple either, this is not a book that talks down to its young audience.  Instead you have to think a bit.  Do the garbage men go home after picking up the garbage?  Can the crane operator still work when the building grows taller than the crane?  Is the airplane ready to leave when the passengers are on board and the baggage is loaded?  Little listeners get to turn the flap to learn the answer and the reason. The answer is given with a quick explanation and then the book moves on to the next machine. It’s just enough information for a preschooler to really enjoy.

Low has created a brisk pace here, never lingering too long and offering exactly the right amount of information.  This makes the book very readable, something that can be happily shared at bedtime unlike a lot of nonfiction vehicle books.  More information on each machine is offered at the end of the book, complete with labeled parts.  Those are pages that young truck fans will linger on.

Low’s illustrations are richly colored.  The painted textures add to them with some pages having individual bricks done solely in texture alone.  At other times, the sleek metal stands out. 

A great pick for your own little machine fan or for public library shelves.  Don’t let the flaps scare you off, they are large and just as durable as a regular page.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.