A little white dog and its human friend use their excavator to rescue a puppy in this endearing wordless picture book.
Clad in matching yellow safety vests, a dog and a human live and work together on a construction site, and their specialty is the excavator. After running the equipment all morning, the pair heads to the snack stand to have lunch with the young woman of color who runs it and her puppy. While the humans chat, the little white dog is keeping an eye on the site when cries of distress arise from a drain grate, where the puppy has become trapped. When the dog and its human are unable to reach the frightened pup on their own, the little dog suggests (with a tug on the vest) using the excavator grab to save the day. Prendergast’s pencil-sketch illustrations are full of movement and fine detail, using broad panel layout to show multiple angles of perspective and to reveal the full narrative impact of each scene. Even the dogs’ vocalizations are wordless, represented by jagged yellow lines that deftly convey urgency. The mostly gray palette is broken up by the assured deployment of bright yellow and blue to draw focus and highlight emotional tension, though the bright-on-bright of light gray and yellow in some of the panels may prove difficult for readers with low contrast sensitivity. The excavator operator has pale skin.
A lively visual tale of friendship and bravery—charming. (Picture book. 3-7)