cover image I'm Dirty!

I'm Dirty!

Kate McMullan, , illus. by Jim McMullan. . HarperCollins/Cotler, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-009293-1

As they did in I Stink! and I'm Mighty! , these creative collaborators introduce a spunky anthropomorphic character—in this case a backhoe loader who relishes his dirty work. "Who's got a boom, a dipper stick, and a bucket with a row of chompers? Me ! And that's just my rear end," he announces proudly. After a flatbed truck carries him to a lot filled with discarded items, the backhoe digs in with gusto, providing an alliterative countdown as he cleans up 10 torn-up truck tires, nine fractured fans, eight busted beach umbrellas, etc. "Hope ya like noise," he says gleefully, as he drops his load in a dumpster, creating quite a din ("Clank! Bang! Bong! Clunk! "). The cheerful, chatty fellow then uproots a tree stump ("Aw Stumpie—loosen up") and fills in the hole, a job he deems a "piece of cake. Make that a mud cake with dirt sprinkles and a scoop of Rocky Road." After taking a mud bath and flattening out the lot, the machine, much to his delight, is dirty indeed. Energetic illustrations capture these mucky goings-on with a large dollop of humor, as type of varying sizes cavorts playfully across the pages. Abundant sound effects make this a high-spirited read-aloud. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)