Saturday, 29 September 2012

Big Yellow Digger

Big Yellow Digger Big Yellow Digger by Julia Jarman, illustrated by Adrian Reynolds (Orchard/Hachette)
PB RRP $16.99
ISBN 9781408309032
Reviewed by Hilary Smillie 

Julia Jarman is an award winning author of picture book texts which come together brilliantly with Adrian Reynolds' colourful, energetic illustrations. There is so much to look at in this latest offering: toddlers will find it captivating, and the rhyming words have the repetition and rhythm kids love.

Once again Ben and Bella are off on another adventure, this time on a big yellow digger which will dig them a tunnel to Australia. The most surprising mix of animals join the children but perhaps the most important is Little Roo who is longing to get back to his mum's pouch. The fossil they find deep inside the earth adds a surprise element and when the gang reach Australia, they enjoy a great Aussie beach party.

Julia chooses lively words to describe the digger's actions: brum, judder, and jigger. Along with the fun, there is a strong educational element woven throughout, and the imaginative concept of tunnelling through the Earth is exciting and a little bit scary - the tunnel is dark until Bella switches on the digger's lights on the way back home.

Big Yellow Digger is a book that makes you wish your grandchildren could stay small so they can continue to enjoy Julia and Adrian's rollicking picture books for a very long time. More of their picture books are listed on the inside and end covers – yellow, of course!

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