Illustrated in nice, easy black-and-white line with soft green and gray washes, this has a comfortable, familiar look; and the story starts on a comfortable, familiar note, introducing Joe, who digs holes for people's houses with his backhoe. One morning Joe wakes up with the idea that he has to dig a hole just for himself--and we see the faces of people and animals peeking through holes in the fence as he digs and digs--and out comes a lovely BIG THING, blowing steam and demanding to be fed. People rush to fill her order for lamb chops, chocolate drops, and much more. ""Oh you poor starving, lovely THING,"" says Joe, who feeds her with his backhoe and then tucks her in with ""a little cover made for him long, long ago by his old mother."" Everyone cooperates while the BIG THING naps (""People tiptoe on their toes. . . . Dogs do not bow-wow""), but it's Joe who takes her in so she won't be lonely. By now, those cute touches have begun to cloy, and when Joe and the dinosaur end up calling each other Darling, it just seems mushy; Hurd hasn't been able to sustain the ingenuous tone needed to carry off lonely Joe's love-at-first-sight.