Reviews for Let's Build a Playground

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Beautifully illustrated with photographs documenting the project, this is an account of transforming an old playground at an Indianapolis charter school with the help of the nonprofit organization KaBoom! It's unclear who's narrating the story and the text mixes fanciful ideas with the practicalities of designing and building, but overall it's an inspiring, empowering story. Text boxes include interesting details about measuring and materials.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 March #2
National nonprofit organization KaBOOM! helps an Indianapolis community construct a playground in just one day. An empty lot, one lone rickety slide; there are plenty of places that don't beckon children to play. But KaBOOM! gives kids the chance to create their dream playground. A swing might be a trapeze, high above the crowd. A slide could be a giant dinosaur. And what about adding a merry-go-round? Or a sand castle big enough to hide inside? Or a hot tub?! Making a new playground starts with ideas--kids don't just list playground equipment, they let their imaginations run wild. Rosen then carefully follows the weeks of planning from fundraising to mulch delivery, even explaining the molten metal used to create the monkey bars. When the one-day build finally arrives, 214 volunteers gather to help. There is a huge sense of accomplishment and communal pride: The playground really does belong to every single person who played a part. Whispered asides to readers, including definitions and measurement explanations, are found in colorful sidebars, and full-page photographs show construction vehicles alongside the absolute glee found on children's faces. KaBOOM! doesn't just foster the power of play (both physical and imaginative); as seen in this book, it inspires kids to believe in change. ("imagine your own playground" prompts, author's note) (Nonfiction. 7-11) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 May

Gr 3-6--KaBOOM is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the concept that all children deserve a safe place to play. The group facilitates partnerships between communities and businesses to build, maintain, and upgrade play areas in urban locations throughout the United States. Many of them are built with neighborhood support and labor in one day. This book recounts the building of one of these playgrounds in Indianapolis. A local charter school had a disintegrating play area and KaBOOM worked with parents, faculty, administration, and, most importantly, with children to plan, pay for, and build an appropriate playground. In a singsong style, the text chronicles the machines and people who do the planning and preliminary foundation work. The size of the project is described by using measurements familiar to children-with their own size, weight, and reach as basis. The children were encouraged to use their imaginations in choosing the colors and types of equipment and here the manufacturing process is also illustrated. Many volunteers worked to complete the project, and the process was documented by an on-site photographer whose work is the basis for many of the illustrations. The finished playground is a fine culmination showing what a community working together can achieve. However, the vital process of fundraising and bringing about business involvement is greatly simplified and may not show a completely realistic picture of the undertaking. Of possible use in building concepts of community organization and cooperation to bring positive results.--Eva Elisabeth VonAncken, formerly at Trinity-Pawling School, Pawling, NY

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