A book that reads like a poor attempt at inducting girls into the mostly male bastion of trucks and large machinery. Dig and Dug are ``dumb and dumber'' as two inept, not-so- handymen. When the farmer's tractor breaks down, Dig and Uncle Dug, with the help of Daisy, try to use a pickup, tow truck, forklift, bulldozer, backhoe, and finally dump truck to deliver fruit to Mrs. Green's store. Intended silliness becomes slapstick as the lamebrained duo muddles through one bad idea after another. Gumby- like multiracial characters appear amidst cut-paper props, and the effect is a series of stiff scenes that have none of the fluidity of clay animation. Young truck-lovers will find none of the kindergarten humor of James Marshall's The Stupids here, and while Daisy solves the fruit problem, it's by design and not deed in this piece of gender equity gone awry. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 1996

ISBN: 0-7894-1107-5

Page Count: 20

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1996

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Four-wheeled fun, if a little unbalanced.


The big trucks work hard all day, and at night they sleep, just like us.

Near the highway, as vehicles “vroooom” by, big trucks are busy building a road. “Digger’s sharp teeth hit the earth. / He’s clawing holes for all he’s worth.” Backhoe “jolts and judders,” making the “whole road shudder.” Dump truck carries away heaps of earth. Grader has a “giant blade,” which “gets the sticky asphalt laid.” Concrete mixer turns sand, gravel, and cement, churning them into the new road’s surface. “Dusty plow truck at the double. / Tips his load of stones and rubble.” Last of all comes “huge road roller,” with big impressive wheels, to give the new highway a smooth surface. There’s a double gatefold at the center of the book, giving a panoramic view of all seven colorful trucks, hard at work. After a hard day, the trucks take the exit ramp off to bed. A good rub with a cleaning brush, a cooling spray, and it’s time to rest. “All tucked safely in their yard / they snuggle down, they’ve worked so hard.” Freedman’s crisp and accessible verse is the perfect complement to Smythe’s bright and blocky illustrations, which have a toddler-friendly Lego or Playskool feel. While construction workers and passers-by of both genders and diverse skin tones populate the pages, all the trucks are gendered male—an odd disconnect.

Four-wheeled fun, if a little unbalanced. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9011-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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The troubles of a little one not ready to give away his tricycle and the tricks he plays to hide it at his parents’ yard sale will charm young children even as the story introduces them to such concepts as growing up, money and markets and the joy of sharing and giving. Elya, the author of several bilingual titles and well-known for her versatile style, successfully blends Spanish words throughout the little one’s verses and rhymes. The use of parallelism, association of ideas and contradicting sentences allows readers to understand the meanings of such Spanish words as triciclo, dinero and bicicleta (glossary and pronunciation guide included). Schlossberg’s vivid, expressive pastels effectively expand on the text and will appeal to children, making this story a great selection for bilingual storytimes at public libraries. The undifferentiated suburban setting and the portrayal of the main character as a little piggy instead of a Hispanic child, which the text suggests, does not, however, offer a clear connection between his bilingualism and his ethnic background. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-399-24522-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2009

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