DIGGER MAN

Andrea Griffing Zimmerman, Author, Bob Barton, Author, David Clemesha, Author . Holt $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-6628-9

"My brother is too little, so he doesn't know…" confides the narrator of this heavy machinery fantasy, "…but soon I'm going to buy a huge digger." In fact, the boy has the whole thing figured out—from the appropriate outfit ("I'll wear a hard hat and heavy digger-man boots," he says, imagining himself perched in the digger's giant scoop) to making hay while the sun shines ("I will work while my brother sleeps"). Best of all, "I will push mud": he and the digger get down and dirty in a big muddy hole in a scene that allows Zimmerman and Clemesha (coauthors of Trashy Town) to construct a characteristic spread of bold shapes in bright colors, then splendiferously splatter it with chocolate-brown acrylic paint. The book's most distinctive note, however, lies in having the narrator employ his construction dream world as a means of connecting with his sibling, rather than escaping from him. "Maybe I can give my brother a ride on the digger," he thinks, first envisioning the baby on board the digger in a car seat (wearing a hard hat, of course); by book's end, he's planning to usher the younger brother into the digger-man fold. Ages 2-5. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/15/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
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