________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 4 . . . . October 13, 2006


Diggers and Dumpers. (Green Bananas).

Valerie Wilding. Illustrated by Maria Maddocks.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2006.
48 pp., pbk. & cl., $7.16 (pbk.), $18.36 (RLB).
ISBN 0-7787-1046-7 (pbk.), ISBN 0-7787-1030-0 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Play-Juvenile fiction.
Dump trucks-Juvenile fiction.
Backhoes-Juvenile fiction.
Trucks-Juvenile fiction.

Kindergarten-grade 1 / Ages 5-6.

Review by Lisa O'Hara.

**** /4

Diggers and Dumpers, written by Valerie Wilding and illustrated by Maria Maddocks, is aimed at little boys who are learning to read. The story has everything they could want: conflict and resolution, big machinery and snacks. Split into three chapters, or as "three stories in one" as described on the cover, there are a few lines of text per page and lots of repetition to help beginning readers along.

     In the story, Ben comes over to Leo's to play, bringing his dump truck, but, when he sees Leo's new digger, he is envious. Leo doesn't really want to share the digger, and, although the two play together, the digger is muddied, then damaged. Mom manages to fix the digger, but it isn't until the two boys see a real digger and dump truck in action that they realize that they should be working together.

They played with the digger and the truck again. But this time they played together. Dig, dig, dig! Went Leo, as he scooped up sand.

Chug-a-lug! Went the digger as Leo drove it away. Swoosh! He tipped the sand into Ben's truck.

Ben drove around the garden. Vroom!

He dumped the sand on the path.

Dump! Dump! Dump!

"Let's do it again!" he said.

"Yes!" said Leo. "But let's swap. You have my digger, and I'll have your truck!"

"I'll get some stones," said Ben. "This is fun!"

     Maria Maddock's illustrations are very bright and cheerful and enhance the story. In the final scene excerpted above, Maddock has shown Leo's back yard turned into a mini-building site with his mother in dismay while looking on at the two boys happily digging up the yard. The bright colors and expressive faces in the illustrations will attract children to the book and the subject matter will keep them entertained. The pictures will help beginning readers follow the story because they are so descriptive of the text. 

Highly Recommended.

Lisa O'Hara is a mother of three and librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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