Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dig! by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal

I'm always looking for good machine books for my voracious truck fans. I checked out Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha's Dig!, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal, to see how it measured up.

 The text is excellent, with a strong rhythm children will enjoy participating in, and plenty of repetition. The illustrations of Mr. Rally, his dog Lightning, and his "big yellow backhoe" are brisk and cheerful.

Unfortunately, they're also very confusing. Mr. Rally's first job, "a bridge on the ridge" makes no sense - I've stared at the illustration for quite a while and still can't figure out what he's doing. In his second job, "a drain for the rain", he appears to have moved an entire house?? The third and fourth jobs are much simpler, although one can't help but notice that Rosenthal opts out of the whole "how did Mike Mulligan get out of the hole" dilemma by only showing half the swimming pool. Finally, the fifth job, leveling ground for a zoo, leaves the ground apparently as lumpy as before.

Verdict: This was a good concept and well-designed, but the illustrations falls short.

ISBN: 978-0152167851; Published May 2004 by Harcourt; Borrowed from the library


Infant Bibliophile said...

Thanks for the review; our son loves all things transportation-related lately. I'm going to do a summary post on my site one day soon with all of the truck books he's read. Thanks for the critique of the confusing pages; if you're going to have to read this thing 100 times, it better make sense! (We have one book that I should edit the review on... various pages are just wrong or odd, and I realized later that it is because it was translated from a French version and definitely lost something in translation).

Andrea said...

I'm glad you enjoyed reading Dig!. I thought I'd clarify something--it's written by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha, but illustrated by Marc Rosenthal. As far as what Mr. Rally's doing, well, construction workers are always asking him to dig and move dirt around--just what he loves to do!
Thanks for reading,
Andrea Zimmerman

Jennifer said...

Oops, thanks for catching my error - I've corrected it! I was wondering why someone was illustrating exactly in the style of Marc Rosenthal...