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Author: Margaret Mayo
Illustrator: Alex Ayliffe
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, LLC
Format: Board Book
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler
Kid Love Factor: 5/5
Adult Sanity Factor: 3/5
Dig Dig Digging is full of the large vehicles that many toddlers love, complete with rhythmic, onomatopoeic phrasing.
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.
The book goes through 10 different machines, from construction vehicles like diggers and road rollers to emergency vehicles like fire engines to service vehicles like garbage trucks. Each spread of pages describes the machine and what it's good at, then finishes with "They can work all day".
It's cute, it's catchy, it's...kinda irritating. It's also Boo's favourite right now. With lots of action words and sound effects, this book is practically made for expanding toddler vocabularies and imitation. Not to mention their recognition of vehicles. The illustrations are colourful and effective but not very detailed. True vehicle-lovers will likely demand more-photorealistic options, but Boo is thus far content and now very excited to see a garbage truck on the street, something he'd never before been interested in.
Autism Spectrum Bonus: The abundance of verbs is great for expanding language or comprehension, an especially nice bonus if you're struggling to introduce action words to a very concrete thinker. There's also lots of machine-noise words for encouraging imitation. Boo enjoys yelling out "They can work all day!" when I pause for him at the end of each page; it didn't take him long to work out the pattern. The brightly coloured pictures also include the people who are necessary for the machines to run, which might be good to point out to little ones who are normally too intent on fascinating vehicles to notice things as boring as people.
Dig Dig Digging is often repeating,
Pages turning, toddler grinning, vrooming and beeping,
Soon we'll be perfect at machine-like creaking,
We'll be reading all day.
Dig Dig Digging on Amazon.ca
Dig Dig Digging on Amazon.com