Sunday 3 May 2015

Big Digger ABC

Big Digger ABC by Margaret Mayo Illus. by Alex Ayliffe (Orchard/Hachette)
HB RRP $24.99

Reviewed by Hilary Smillie

Long-time acclaimed British author, Margaret Mayo has created an alphabet picture book using names of vehicles which will enthrall little people, especially boys. Her rhythmic text has as much action as Alex Ayliffe's lively and colourful illustrations.  For example:
Aa Ambulance Busy, busy ambulance
rush, rush, rushing.                                                                                                            Whee-ow! Whee-ow!
                                                                  Loud siren blaring.

The use of bold letters in wavy or oblique patterns emphasises, for example the speed of the ambulance, and this is repeated throughout - a bulldozer push, push, pushing; a crane hoist, hoist, hoisting; right through to Z which is represented by a Zooming Rocket. Mayo isn't afraid to use adjectives instead of the nouns common in most alphabets, or even a letter in a word rather than at the beginning, e.g., X is for EXtra Big Wheels.

Narrowboat and Icebreaker are two unusual modes of transport which may not be familiar to all young children but they certainly add a further educational element to their reading experience.

The vivid illustrations of each vehicle are cheerful and appealing and Alex Ayliffe's award winning style doesn't stop there - the backgrounds also hold a lot of interest for children to examine and enjoy. E.g., a bright yellow Helicopter is in the air, but a ladder is being lowered to someone stranded on a snowy mountain which faithfully supports the text:
Smart yellow helicopter whirr, whirr, whirring.
Hovering and swaying - look!
Someone needs rescuing.

Machine-mad little kids will love the whole concept of this exciting ABC picture book.

1 comment:

  1. This bright and busy picture book is packed with all the vehicles little ones love, from diggers and fire engines to spaceships and underwater robots.

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