Many trucks and other equipment have a very specific purpose and a very important job to do. In Dig Dig Digging, author Margaret Mayo tells her readers about several of the most popular pieces of equipment. Children can learn what each is called and what each one does, while enjoying colorful illustrations and a rhythmic story line. Each page begins with the name of the equipment being referred to, and a short blurb about each one.
“Diggers are good at dig, dig, digging,/scooping up the earth, and lifting and tipping./They make huge holes with their dig, dig, digging./They can work all day.”
Every blurb has two “triplets” such as “swoosh, swoosh, swooshing” and “dump, dump, dumping”, ended by the words “They can work all day.” While I wasn’t very sure about the continued repeating, which can make it annoying to read aloud, my three-year-old son absolutely loved it. The repeats made it more interesting for him to listen to, and by the third page he was echoing “They can work all day, that’s right!” at the end of each blurb.
The illustrations are done in bright colors and the pictures are pretty simple. Despite their simplicity, the various vehicles and equipment are readily recognizable, much to my son’s delight. He happily called out the names of each machine as the page was turned, and begged to be read to again and again. We finally capped it at reading him the book five times through in just over an hour, but that didn’t stop him from “reading” to himself – “That’s a bulldozer! It can work all day.”
To add a little more interest to the book, the text is shaped in ways that match the kind of machinery being discussed. For instance, for the road roller there are lines on the top and bottom that were curled, but the center line was perfectly straight. The blurb for the rescue helicopter that hovers over the ocean has wavy text. Even though he can’t read yet, this did seem to add something to the book for my son. Perhaps it was simply because this is different than the boring straight lines, but either way it worked to catch his attention.
I borrowed this book from the library for my son and was a bit worried that the text would be too simple for him. He loves anything on wheels or tracks, especially construction machinery, so I went ahead and checked it out. Now, this kid is a typical three-year-old in that he has the attention span equivalent of a gnat and has to take in everything around him. It says a lot that he wanted this book read to him over and over and, when we’d finally had enough of reading the same thing to him, he proceeded to amuse himself with it.
Overall this is an excellent book for about the 3-4 age range, especially for those who love machines. Given the chance, I’d definitely purchase this book to add to my son’s permanent collection. Even though he’ll grow out of the text pretty quickly, it contains many hours of enjoyment for him before that happens.