Friday, June 16, 2017

Can You Dig It? Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney

Here come the BIG RIGS
rolling down the street.

Thumpa Thumpa! Bumpa Bumpa!

There's a major project in the works, as the heavy-duty movers and shakers arrive at the construction site. There's 'Dozer and Loader, and Backhoe and Crane....

And trailing behind, making tracks as fast as his little treads can rotate, is Little Excavator, followed by his spotted pooch pal. Little E is born to dig, but he's not quite ready to rumble with with the big boys.

The Big Rigs arrive to prep the site, and with a rumble and a crumble the sturdy big "Dozer takes down a stone wall with no difficulty. But when he gives it a try, Little E winds up amid the debris.

Big Loader moves up with a growl to transfer the broken stones into Dump Truck's load bed. GrrrrRrrrarrr!

Little E tries lifting some JUNK, JUNK, JUNK!

But the load in his little scoop is too much for the diminutive digger. He turns over with a CLUNK!

Little E is embarrassed! Dump Truck orders him out of his way as he lugs his load off the site, chugging away mightily. Little E tries to help dig holes, but Backhoe shoos him away. Little E backs up, and his little headlight eyes get big as he watches the very tall Crane maneuver into position to swing a whole bridge across the pond to a little island. The new park is beginning to shape up. There is only one task left to do--planting an apple tree in the center of the little island. Little E is sad that he hasn't been able to help the Big Rigs at all.

But, wait! There's a problem! The lovely little footbridge to the island is too small for any of the heavy-duty rigs to cross!

Who is small enough to drive over the bridge and dig a small hole for the little apple tree?

Who can it be? "Little E!" all little listeners will reply with glee, in Anna Dewdney's brand-new construction tale, Little Excavator (Viking Books, 2017).

Dewdney's onomatopoetic rhymes are rhythmically repetitive, encouraging youngsters to chime in, and Dewdney's illustrations of the doughty little digger are a pure delight. Done in a departure from the familiar style in her Llama Llama series, her work in this story fits right in with the famous anthropomorphic earth movers of children's literature, from Burton's Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel 75th Anniversary to Rinker's Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. Dewdney's Little E has personality plus, staying right where he longs to be, and pleased to place that little tree where it belongs to make the new park perfect. Kids will identify right away with this eager little digger who proves he has the right stuff to help out, and Dewdney has again given children's literature a new classic with all the ample art and the heart of her earlier books.

Kirkus stars their review and celebrates Anna Dewdney's latest, giving Little Excavator  an "A+ for Little E and his creator!"



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