Digger Dozer Dumper written by Hope Vestergaard and illustrated by David Slonim is and isn't your typical truck book. While there are the familiar hard-hat-construction-truck shades of yellow along with the fire-truck-reds and the googley-eyes on the vehicles, Digger Dozer Dumper boasts sixteen poems about the various vehicles that most boys seem to love unquestionably. If I were still in that phase with my boys when we called out the names of various vehicles working as we drove down the street, still bought or rented the I LOVE CAT MACHINES DVDs and still liked t-shirts with detailed, wrap-around drawings of trucks on them, you know I would be buying Digger Dozer Dumper and reading it out loud over and over. This is especially so because, above all else, Digger Dozer Dumper pulls off the one thing I was always looking for when perusing vehicle books - a wide array of trucks. Digger Dozer Dumper has that! Starting off with the Street Sweeper, Vestergaard has odes to the Garbage Truck, Cherry Picker, Forklift, Steamroller and Snow Plow, among other expected vehicles that I still remember the names of.
Vestergaard's poems are a cut above what you might expect from a book like Digger Dozer Dumper. Her poems build with words the way that the vehicles being written about build with construction materials. The Street Sweeper has "steely whiskers" that whisper as they "tickle all the gutters." The Forklift has a snout that "pokes in and out/ of pallets, piles and crates./ Her L-shaped nose inspects the rows/ and tallies all the freight." Vestergaard also mentions the parts of the trucks, from the hydraulic arms of the garbage truck to the pumps, axes, lamps, poles and more found on a fire truck. Kids will devour this book, of course, but the real treat comes from how much parents will enjoy reading it out loud over and over!
Like my review of Pirate Princess by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Jill McElmurry, which turned into a catalog of great pirate picture books, I hope to share with you here a list of some of the great vehicle books I have enjoyed with my boys over the years. Also, look for the reviews of these books under the label:
It looks like a lot of the books from my kid's truck-loving-period were also books from my childhood. Please leave comments if you know of newer books that fit this bill!
Skip Goodnight Moon (a great book, but everyone's first choice for a baby gift) and go straight for: Richard Scarry's
CARS and TRUCKS and THINGS THAT GO
and the much easier-to-take-anywhere board book version...
Speaking of board books, DK titles were always in the backseat of my car or my backpack when we went anywhere.
When your little truck lover is ready for more of a story, ease into it with these great picture books by the impeccable Peter Sís.
Ready for even longer stories? These Golden Books are classics for a reason.
And, of course, the amazing Virginia Lee Burton's books!
Just in case you don't know her other books about vehicles, don't miss Maybelle the Cable Car and Katy and the Big Snow, both of which can be found in the very reasonably priced collection that includes Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.
And then don't forget Choo Choo!
A few more great things-that-go-books!
A brilliant book, especially for birthdays!
Had to buy two of The Diggers, it got read so much...
Don't forget this fantastic quartet of books from Kate & Jim McMullan!