Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dig In! by Cindy Jenson-Elliott, illustrated by Mary Peterson

I loved Jenson-Elliott's Weeds find a way but had a hard time clicking with this title. It's a very different format, as well as a different illustrator.

The repeated refrain "I dig in the dirt" heralds a number of discoveries. A pill bug which curls up, a spider who runs, a sprout that grows, etc. The simple story ends with one final discovery - add some water to the squishy dirt and get....mud!

The illustrations are blocky and have a textured look that fits well with the dirt. The worms, spiders, and other bugs are cute little cartoon critters. The hands digging into the dirt in each sequences are large, tan and have splayed fingers.

So, I do love the text. I like the repeated refrain, I like how it introduces very young children to what they'll find in the dirt in a simple way. This would click perfectly with our toddler storytimes and our garden project coming up this summer. I like the cheerful little cartoon worms and the texture of the dirt.

I just can't like the hands. They look weird and creepy to me. This is totally subjective and everyone else loves this. But I just can't get over the hands, and the way they look like sort of flat, floppy gloves. I also don't care for the shade of green used. Usually I won't pay much attention to little details like this that are totally personal, but I've had this for quite a while and I just can't like it.

Verdict: Everyone else likes this and I know my colleague will love using it in storytime. Just chalk it up to my personal weird issues and purchase it for your own gardening/dirt/worm programs with toddlers.

ISBN: 9781442412613; Published 2016 by Beach Lane Books; Review copy provided by the publisher; Donated to the library

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