In Digger and Daisy’s second outing, Digger learns that—all appearances to the contrary—sometimes it is best to have a nose full of dirt.
Digger and Daisy, the two chummy canine siblings—as canine siblings, unlike certain other species, are wont to be—decide to go for a picnic. While Daisy is happy to take in nature with her eyes, her younger brother likes to exercise his nose. The words in this early reader have a nice levitating quality, even in the unlikeliest of places—“Digger likes to smell everything. He puts his nose in the hole. Digger sniffs. He sniffs dirt up his nose. Digger snuffs. He snuffs more dirt up his nose”—which make them fun to engage with. After Digger has gotten a good whiff of the flowers and the cooling pie and the franks on the grill, all of which raise a note of concern from Daisy for one reason or another, and after Digger gets his nose clogged for being, as it were, too nosy, the story reverses gears. It retraces its steps but now with the world of scent closed to Digger’s jam-packed nostrils. It’s almost Shakespearean, until the skunk arrives on the scene, its dashing black-and-white look a fine counterpart to the waxy crayon sheen of the rest of Sullivan’s artwork.
A stink can come between the coziest of siblings from time to time, but rarely are they so sweet as Daisy and Digger. (Early reader. 4-8)