On Monday, January 10th, 2011, my almost 8-year-old son drew this picture on a faded printout from our paper re-use box:

This artist boy’s drawing style and recurring subject matter is something I am more than familiar with, but he never ceases to amaze me with his mind for detail.  I asked him if he would describe what is happening in the picture for me to write down, in order to remember the intricate action contained on this 8 1/2 x 11″ piece of paper.

In L’s own words:

“The person that is painting the chimney of a big apartment building is up on a ladder.  The brown things are bricks, but they are brown bricks.  The crowd of people, and builders, and police officers, are looking up at the guy that is holding onto a rope which a bunch of workers are holding onto to save him with.

brick painter

guy on a rope

The big black thing at the top is 25 boards which they are going to make the building with, but most of the workers are not helping because they are trying to save the other worker.

25 boards

On the 4th floor there is a couple workers that are drilling metal pieces to make it so that nothing falls down, and they have a special crane that has a metal box and a circle thing, and then they push a button and it has a basket that comes out for the workers.  The workers are already in it.  In a different part of the picture close to the crane there are some workers that are hammering boards to make apartments for people that are going to live there.  There is a painter waiting for his job signal.

the crane and the waiting painter

On the third floor they are already halfway done with the apartments because they have got most of the paint job done, on one of the glass windows they’ve got the top part, and then they have to paint the boards that are showing.  There is a worker holding up three boards to give to some other workers that can pass them up to some other ones that are making the apartment.

3rd floor on top, 2nd underneath

One other thing about the 3rd floor is there are a couple workers that are holding a hose that makes it so that cement goes up to the 3rd floor to hold the chimney.  And something that is very cool about the cement, there is something in the cement mixer that makes it turn black, like the stuff on the 2nd floor and the 4th floor.

1st, 2nd, 3rd, details

On to the 2nd floor…there is a guy that is hammering a board to some already painted boards.  There is also a guy that is holding up the hose for the 3rd floor cement.  There are two with a giant box of nails that goes up to their waists.  And there are some more guys that are holding up boards and there are some that are painted to make more apartments for the building.

2nd floor and Lobby

The Lobby, they haven’t done anything (with it) quite yet.  Right now they’ve just gotten some things up in the Lobby.  At the bottom where the work group is, there are a few ambulances because the guy that is hanging for his life on the rope is getting halfway up, and they think that he might fall as soon as he reaches the corner so they got a few ambulances there.  But they think he will be o.k. because they have enough guys down at the bottom to catch him.

around the ambulance

There are also four men carrying about 40 boards to the 4th floor, and there is a man in charge that is in charge behind them with an orange helmet– so you can tell which ones are them.  But it is hard to tell that there is one on the right side of the boards because one man is blocking the way so you can’t see him.”

man in charge with orange hat

After all of this description was carefully written down I asked, “What do you call this picture?”  Without any hesitation he replied, “Word Builders.”  And after thinking for a second continued, “Tomorrow I’m going to say “Sentence Workers,” because they make houses out of a bunch of sentences.”  He then went through all of the papers in the re-use box and found all of the similar printouts for his next “worker drawings.”  I’m sure we’ll be seeing many more where this one came from.

Thanks, Richard Scarry.  I’m sure the hours we have spent reading his wonderful books must have something to do with the creative outpouring I see every day.

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