Dalmatian in a Digger by Rebecca Elliott

[Review Copy Courtesy of Capstone Young Readers]

Here’s a picture book that is pure fun.  Animals + Beautifully Illustrated Construction Scenes + Onomatopoeia  =  An Easy Book to Love. Different animals work together using various construction vehicles to build something very special for a small dalmatian.

Dalmatian inner (1)

From Dalmatian in a Digger

The text has an upbeat and energetic rhythm to it that is easy to read many, many times in a row with it always being fun for both the reader and the listener.  The page turns have the perfect amount of suspense so that your little ones will be completely enthralled for the first few readings and then enthusiastically shout out from there after. There’s a good amount of repetition so that little ones can follow along and the big ones can quickly memorize. So even when you’re sleep deprived, you can still do a rousing rendition of it well enough to satisfy even the most particular of audience members.

The illustrations are absolutely beautiful.  There aren’t many construction picture books  (but there are some!) that have such pretty and delicate scenery.  The colorful flowers in the background, the egg-shell blue sky, the trees, and the greenery give a great balance between the square and boxy look of construction vehicles.  You don’t really see a lot of nature and naturalistic scenery in picture books about building and construction and this is a welcome change.

There’s a small detail that is very well done.  After each different construction vehicle and animal driver combination is introduced, the little dalmatian declares:  “I love cranes!” or “I love dump trucks!” or “I love bulldozers!” On those days that we read this book, I can consistently find that my littlest one will say while playing, “I love…[such and such] !” Then he’ll use the same enthusiastic voice that I do when reading Dalmation in a Digger.  It makes me so happy to hear him express enthusiasm like this and it’s a small detail that makes a big difference. I bet your kiddos will probably do the same.

Some of the text is in a large and colorful font.  I’ve noticed that my youngest son will point to and say the words — he’s nowhere near reading, but this is the first book where I saw him start to connect the squiggles on the page with what I say to him. Kudos to whoever thought to add this to the book.  The text is well placed and is also broken up in such a way that it invites reluctant or emergent readers to give reading a go.

The recommended ages for Dalmation in a Digger are four to seven and it holds true in my experience. My eldest enjoys this book just as much as my youngest and we have a wonderful time reading it together. A great book that absolutely appeals to a wide age range.

The construction sounds will get stuck in your head with a fierce and unrelenting persistence.  Good luck getting it out of your head once you’ve read it, but the pure joy that you see on your child’s face when you read this book to them is worth the hours and hours (and hours!) of “Dugger Dugger Digger” and “Dump Splat Crash” that are mercilessly stuck on repeat in your brain.

A very welcome addition to the world of construction picture books.

Recommended Ages 4 to 7. Capstone Young Readers. February 2017. 32 pages. ISBN: 978-1623708023. Fiction.

Where to Get it:

Author/Illustrator Websites:

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Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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