cover image DIG DIG DIGGING


Margaret Mayo, , illus. by Alex Ayliffe. . Holt, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-6840-5

Cataloguing the world of heavy equipment, this vibrant square volume explores the unique capabilities of 11 vehicles, from construction trucks to rescue helicopters. On each spread, Mayo (Wiggle Waggle Fun) offers plenty of colorful adjectives and terse verbs: "Bulldozers are good at push, push, pushing,/ over rough, bumpy ground, scraping, and shoving." Ayliffe, who explored some of this territory before in The Busy Building Book, pictures two bulldozers, one yellow and the other red, attacking clods of dirt and showing trees no mercy as they maneuver around a hill at precarious angles. The artist works in brightly colored cut paper, adding just enough detail to the people and landscapes (the bumpy texture of caterpillar tracks, the grid work of a crane tower) to satisfy young enthusiasts. A refrain on each spread reminds readers that these distinctive vehicles share at least one similarity: "They can work all day." A final spread of a darkened town full of stilled vehicles demonstrates that even giant trucks and earthmovers need to turn off their engines: "Shhh! They can rest all night." Ages 3-5. (May)