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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bulldozer's Big Day, written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster. 2015. $19.99 ages 3 and up

"Bulldozer's blade dropped a little. He rolled to where Cement Mixer was working. "Guess what today is?" called Bulldozer. "I already know," Cement Mixer belched. "Today is stirring day. Stirring ... stirring ... stirring." And Bulldozer's blade drooped a little."

Do you know someone who loves construction vehicles, and has a birthday coming soon? If you do, I have the perfect book for you
and your little one! It will be a smash hit - I guarantee it.

The premise of the story is appealing - one very excited young bulldozer comes to the construction sight full of joy that his special day has arrived and he wants all of his friends to come to the party. He rolls along, fairly jumping with energy and enthusiasm. He meets Digger first and begs him to guess what is special about the day. Digger knows the answer - it's scooping. Dump Truck knows it's sifting. Cement Mixer knows it's stirring ... and so on. Bulldozer becomes more and more disheartened as he scoots along wanting his friends to share his high spirits.

Each of the vehicles show their work ethic, keeping to the job at hand and giving cool responses to the little guy's question. Poor Bulldozer. The further he goes, the slower and sadder he is. Eventually, he crawls into Crane's territory. Crane is at the end of his lifting for the day. Wait! He has one more lift before he can leave for the day.

A cacophony of whistles fills the air. Bulldozer is perplexed. Then he watches with delight as he sees what Crane's final lift is actually carrying. Wow!

The text is just right for young listeners. Lots of site sounds, plenty of repetitive questions and answers, excitement and disappointment make it a book that will need to be read again. Eric Rohmann uses black outlines to keep our eyes on his expressive machines, the sandy setting and the work being done at every turn. The spreads, framed in black as well, give boundaries to the action. The double page spread that reveals the surprise is sure to elicit happy sighs of contentment.

You know who will appreciate this book! It's a wonderful birthday surprise in itself.


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