Mice, with construction-worker garb and gear, build and enjoy a full-size pizza.
Fluid and often clever verse narrates the action: “Crew arrives at break of day. Get to work, right away! / Put on those construction hats. Roll that mountain nice and flat.” (The mountain here is a mound of pizza dough.) Each double-page spread, except for the first, features movable parts, allowing readers to manipulate the machinery. A spin dial turns the roller of the steamroller or the barrel of a cement mixer (from which issues tomato sauce). Each sliding panel has a hole or indentation for little fingers’ ease of use and moves a loader, makes the ’dozer spread cheese, tows the pizza from the oven and removes a slice from the pie. The interactive components, while relatively easy to manipulate, are constructed of thinner-than-normal board-book page stock and may not hold up under really enthusiastic reading. In gray, orange and yellow hues and drawn in her flat, graphic cartoon-style, Berg’s friendly mice and clear depictions of vehicles are pleasing and recognizable. Little ones may not totally get the mashup of construction and pizza making, but there are enough details here to hold the interest of most truck lovers. The less successful sister title, Dive In!, follows a similar format, but here the mouse workers fill a bathtub and launch toy boats. Unfortunately, the interactive features are less satisfying and more baffling (will toddlers understand what a bath thermometer is?).
Stick with Dig In!, which young readers will enjoy sinking their teeth into. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)