A little digger that could shows the other construction equipment that even though he’s small, he can get the job done.
In a construction-truck reprise of his Toot and Pop! (2012), Braun introduces readers to the small backhoe (“Hello, Digger!”), whose “helping” doesn’t “always go quite as planned.” But this three-page introduction seems not to relate to the story that follows. Digger and Tom, the dump truck, are working together to clear the construction site of one last rock. But Digger is having a hard time of it—it is larger than it looked at first. When the other trucks arrive, they deride his efforts, telling him to step aside and see how it is done. But they get their comeuppance—Basher can’t smash it, Roland can’t flatten it, Chuck can’t bulldoze it, and Grabber can’t get a purchase on the rock. While the others are on a break, Tom and Digger exchange sly looks, and Tom encourages the little guy to try again. Of course, he succeeds, and the other trucks acknowledge him, and everyone pitches in to finish the site. Braun’s illustrations portray anthropomorphized construction vehicles whose simple, sometimes sweaty (!) faces convey their emotions: frustration, effort, satisfaction, pride and exhaustion. Simple backgrounds keep the focus on the trucks and their relationships.
Not as strong as either Toot and Pop! or The Little Engine that Could, but truck lovers will be well satisfied. (Picture book. 3-6)