Dogs + Construction = New Favorite Construction Picture Book: Build, Dogs, Build by James Horvath

Build, Dogs, Build:  A Tall Tail

by James Horvath

Ages 0 – 99+. HarperCollins. December 2013. 40 pages. ISBN: 978-0062189677. Fiction.

Where to Get it:

At a Glance:

Dogs tear down an old building and put up a new one!  There is a wrecking ball, BOOM written in huge letters (that beg to be shouted), bulldozers, dump trucks, pipes, concrete mixers, welding, a car accident where balls go flying EVERYWHERE and dogs fetching them, pipes, liquid cement pumping through its boom, and a pool with dogs diving into it. OH, and IT RHYMES, too.   If you read it at my house it comes complete with a little boy jumping up and down every. single. time. we read it begging me to read it again. and again. and again. and again. (+ infinity) We highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend this book.  To quote the resident three-year-old boy when asked what he thought of it:  “Oh, Mama.  It’s PERFECT!  Read it again!  I’m so excited!!!!” (Bounce, bounce, bounce.)

Why You Should Read this Book:

  • Dogs + Construction = Brilliance.  How was this not written sooner?
  • It is easy to memorize.  It has a great rhythm to it that makes it fun to read and hear.
  • Bright, colorful, and fun illustrations with a  sneaky black cat to search for on each page.  What is that cat doing now?
  • Excellent vocabulary.
  • Lots of large font words in the pictures.  I have found the larger the font the less intimidating it is for new readers.
  • So many construction books are ALL boy, but this is a book for both boys and girls.  This is one of the few books about construction that has a female construction worker!  On the back of the book she’s welding and throughout the book she’s working right along side the male construction workers.  She’s pink and her eyelashes are slightly different — but it’s subtle.  She blends in nicely as just part of the group.  It’s excellently done.

Summary of the Story:

Dogs with names (Duke, Roxy, Buddy, Max, Spot, and Spike) tear down an old building and put up a new apartment high rise on Bark Avenue with a sweet penthouse.

How My Three-Year-Old Boy Responded to this Book:

I received this book for review right around Christmas.  When people asked my eldest son what he received for Christmas, Build, Dogs, Build and Dig, Dogs, Dig were among the items he listed as his favorite (though they weren’t technically Christmas presents).  We read both books probably 10 – 15 times in a row the day we received them.  The next day when he woke up, the first thing he did was ask me to read them again another 10 times in a row.  He has both books completely memorized.  We’ve been reading this book for months and my eldest son’s enthusiasm for this book is a strong today as it was the first time we read it.  Build, Dogs, Build and Dig, Dogs, Dig are easily two of his favorite picture books ever.

He was playing at the table with some kinetic sand (Amazon affiliate link — but seriously, this stuff is so cool!) this morning calling out the different names of the dogs while he dug and scooped.

The resident baby will happily sit through this book while I read it to my eldest (again and again and again).

Author/Illustrator Websites:

Other Reviews of this Book:

Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the author.  No other compensation was received.  The opinions expressed here are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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