Review Blog

Aug 07 2012

Big yellow digger by Julia Jarman and Adrian Reynolds

cover image

Orchard Books, 2012. ISBN 9781408309032.
(Age: 3-6) Recommended. Ben and Bella are off to Australia in their big yellow digger. The digger jiggles and judders its way as it digs and is joined by Moose, Zebra, Rhinoceros, Mole and lots of other animals. What an adventure they have, digging a huge tunnel all the way to Australia and on the way unearthing a huge dinosaur, returning Little Roo to his mother, splashing in the waves and having a barbecue on the beach.
This is a delightful story. It is a joy to see a brother and sister playing happily together and everyone having such a lot of fun. The happiness of using their imagination and making up a wonderful game just glows from Ben and Bella's faces and their enthusiasm and gaiety is sure to rub off on the young child who listens to the story or the one who is just beginning to read.
 Sounds like 'Brum brum! Judder, judder, jigger' and internal and line end rhyming make this story a winner to read aloud. The rhythm will make it easy to remember and it is one that I believe will become a favourite bedtime story.
Reynolds' illustrations, done in vibrant bold colours, deep greens, blues and oranges, stand out and complement the text so that beginning readers can make sense using contextual clues. The simple black outlines of the big yellow digger make it a focal point for the page and the facial expressions of the children and the animals are lots of fun. An astute reader who looks at detail will know where the animals came from and everyone will delight in the way the children use their imagination.
Pat Pledger

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