An altruistic excavator finds life’s meaning when it stops to smell the flowers.
This sweet, succinct tale begins with three big trucks poised to build a town where there is none. The crane and the bulldozer are content with their lot, but everything changes for the digger the minute it spies a single, solitary blue blossom in the center of the new town. Abandoning his mission with a sudden, botany-based change of heart, Digger visits, tends, protects, and serenades the delicate flower. Progress has little time for horticulture, however, and soon the bloom is cruelly cut down. Yet as it turns out, the digger’s talents are perfect for the planting of new seeds. The last image of the book is a silent and hopeful spread of the cold, colorless town backgrounding the slow spread of new, tender little blue sprouts. Kuefler imbues the text with the heart and soul of the best storytime fare. The digger didn’t just plant something, he “tucked the seeds into the warm earth.” The repetition of comforting cadences softens the stark, spare, square design. In the midst of all that urban progress, the lonely blue petals offer stark relief.
Short of Maryann’s abandoning Mike Mulligan for a life of conservation and gardening, one couldn’t hope for a better tale of rebirth and regeneration in the face of unchecked industrial sprawl. (Picture book. 3-7)