Children’s Book of the Week: Digger Man

Digger Man by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha

Kids are funny. Henry’s always been fairly ambivalent about trucks and diggers. He used to like them more when he was, say, 2, but he’s always been more into animals and Winnie the Pooh. When Eli came along, with his deep, deep love of all things transportation, that seemed to push Henry even farther from the realm of construction sites. But sometimes, when we read Eli one of his “Hurray for Skid Steers!” books, Henry will perch himself on the far corner of the couch and pretend not to listen.

And then along comes Digger Man. I read it to them once, and Henry was rapt. Then he stole the book and ran upstairs and read it again to himself, studying it carefully. He came downstairs and announced that he was going to go play in the sandbox, which is nothing too unusual, but his desire to play in the sandbox with diggers was new.

I’m not sure what it was about this book exactly that inspired this. A little boy loves diggers, and dreams that he’ll soon buy his own full-size digger, which he’ll use to build a digger park/playground. And then he’ll tell his baby brother about the wonders of diggers, so the baby brother can play too (though we change it to “sister” when we read it, to make it more Zuzu-inclusive). A simple story, with good bright illustrations, but the boys have developed a fierce love of it, and a real desire to act it out and pretend they’re making their own digger park.

Whatever. I’m highly supportive of any book that inspires the kids to run outside and play.

Comments (3)

  1. Patrick April 6, 2009 at 8:16 am

    The title feels like it should have either a reggae or funk theme song. i don’t suppose there was a cd included, was there ?

  2. Anne April 6, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    We love Digger Man. But Pete and I have an ongoing argument about one of the pictures: the one where Digger Man has a diggerful of twisted metal, and it looks to me like he’s about to unload it into a blue Dumpster. But Pete contends that the blue Dumpster is not a Dumpster at all, but a crib, since it’s the page that reads, “I will work while my brother sleeps.”

    Falatko opinion, please: Is that blue thing a crib or a Dumpster? It’s got to be the latter, because what would a crib be doing out there in the way of a digger?

  3. Julie April 7, 2009 at 10:59 am

    It’s a dumpster. The two clues are the giant industrial wheel on the bottom, and the fact that at the end, the little brother is sleeping in bed with the protagonist, so he clearly doesn’t even have a crib. I will contend that it’s a very crib-like dumpster, however.

    I would love to hear “Digger Man” the funk version.

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