cover image Little Excavator

Little Excavator

Anna Dewdney. Viking, $17.99 (44p) ISBN 978-1-101-99920-2

Little E, the smallest construction vehicle at the site of a future park, is eager to do his part in this raucous rhyming outing from the late Dewdney (the Llama Llama series), which is stuffed with noisy vehicular sound effects. “Little E tries lifting up some junk junk junk!” she writes, but the load is too much for him, and “there goes Little Excavator—over with a clunk!” The big trucks are kind and ready to rescue him, but they’re also busy (children will almost certainly think of the adults in their own lives), and it proves dispiriting for Little E to be constantly reminded that he’s neither independent nor helpful (“Not yet, Little Excavator... Someday when you’re big”). The story is familiar, but Dewdney’s little hero is so chipper and gung-ho—he breaks into a small, confident smile whenever he’s had a success—that it’s impossible not to root for him. When he finally gets a job that’s a perfect fit for his diminutive size, his happiness and the bow he takes are both well deserved. Ages 2–5. Agent: Deborah Warren, East West Literary. (June)