HomeBooks by AgeAges 0-3Inside the Studio with Tom Lichtenheld, Illustrator of Mighty, Mighty Construction Site
Inside the Studio with Tom Lichtenheld, Illustrator of Mighty, Mighty Construction Site (1)

Inside the Studio with Tom Lichtenheld, Illustrator of Mighty, Mighty Construction Site

The Children’s Book Review | March 3, 2016

Inside Tom Lichtenheld’s Studio

This is what my studio looks like, but it never looks like this.

1_StudioWideLichtenheldStudio2LichtenheldStudio5 copy

The most special thing about my studio is a priceless collection of gifts from fellow book creators and little things I keep for inspiration.


This one-of-a-kind-cutest-ever dump truck was given to me by Melissa Manlove, the editor of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site when the book first hit the NYT bestseller list.


This quip on a print from Eric Rohmann refers to my belief that nothing is funnier than an elephant’s behind.


I got this Dan Santat drawing at a doodle exchange with other illustrators at a conference. Dan ended up with some chicken-scratching of mine – he definitely got the short end of the deal.



The singularly brilliant Amy Krouse Rosenthal sent me this Groovy “Cup of Joe” to commemorate the release of my first Groovy Joe book.


An exquisite little painting from Julia Sarcone-Roach.


A shell/pencil from Beth Ferry. I hope to do another book with her so I can put this to use.

Not Starting

Overcoming procrastination is a daily struggle. Once I realized it’s a way of avoiding failure (if you don’t start, you don’t fail), I wrote this reminder to myself.


Speaking of reminders, this is a one-word mantra about making stories and pictures for kids, adjacent to a man who did it better than anyone.


A few reminders to give it all you’ve got, from David Shannon, Andrea Pinkney, and Patrick McDonnell.


The engine room of the studio. A drawing board I’ve had since college, two computers (slightly newer), and a cabinet full of stuff to make marks on paper.


The cabinet has a drawer for each medium, here, colored pencils.


In full watercolor mode.


A book at the finished sketch / layout stage. Everything goes on one big board so I can see it as one piece and keep track of progress.


A menagerie of critters, because I never know what kind of animal I’ll want to draw, and kids are particular about details (like how many digits a T Rex has).

Tom Lichtenheld’s Creative Process

My process is: drawing, editing, more drawing, designing, collaborating, and coloring.

Fortunately, I get some help.


Goodnight from the studio!


Mighty, Mighty Construction SiteMighty, Mighty Construction Site

Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Publisher’s Synopsis: At last—here from the team behind the beloved international bestseller comes a companion to Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. All of our favorite trucks are back on the construction site—this time with a focus on team-building, friendship, and working together to make a big task seem small! Down in the big construction site, the crew faces their biggest job yet, and will need the help of new construction friends to get it done. Working as a team, there’s nothing they can’t do! The millions of fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site are in for a mighty good time!

Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | February 14, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1452152165

Available Here: 

About Tom Lichtenheld

Tom Lichtenheld is the illustrator of #1 New York Times bestsellers Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site and Steam Train, Dream Train, created with Sherri Duskey Rinker, as well as Duck! Rabbit! and I Wish You More, created with Amy Krouse Rosenthal. He lives near Chicago, Illinois.

Discover more books like “Mighty, Mighty Construction Site,” written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, on The Children’s Book Review by following along with our articles tagged with , and . And be sure to check out more authors and illustrators featured in our  column.

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  • Lucky enough to have a Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site on my shelf so found it fascinating to compare the pages with Tom Lichtenheld’s final layout pages here!

    March 7, 2017

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