Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Review - Little Excavator

Little Excavator
by Anna Dewdney
Date: 2016
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 44
Format: e-book
Source: library

From New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of the Llama Llama books comes a new character ready to dig his way into your heart!

Here come the BIG RIGS
rolling down the street.

There's Loader and Dump Truck, Backhoe and Crane. They're ready to transform a vacant lot into a neighborhood park. And who wants to help most of all?

Little Excavator! But are there any jobs for someone so small?

Anna Dewdney's signature rhyming text and inviting illustrations make this a perfect read aloud for for fans of things that go!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I can't believe I'm saying this about a picture book featuring anthropomorphized heavy machinery, but this may be as close to a "perfect" children's book as anyone is going to get.

In gentle rhyming text, Little Excavator tells the story of Little E, a juvenile excavator who just wants to help the older, bigger machines as they transform a vacant lot into a pretty park. He tries to help, but he's just not big enough for most of the jobs... until there's one important job left that only he can do.

Kids who are interested in trucks and working machines will probably eat this one right up. There are plenty of kinds of machinery illustrated, everything from cranes to bulldozers to dump trucks, and the pictures clearly show what kinds of jobs they do. A little puppy watches the proceedings, and it's fun to try to find him where he's hiding on some of the pages. The story is very clear from the beginning, when we see the vacant lot with the sign that reads "FUTURE PARK SITE" and all the trucks and machinery arriving via the road. At the end, we see the finished park, with a sign declaring it open, and Little E and his friends leaving the scene, their jobs finished.

Not all picture books need to have a heavy-handed moral. In fact, some of the best ones are books like Little Excavator that send a message without hitting the reader over the head.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 5/5
Meter: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.71 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment