Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Happy Book Bday, Bulldozer Helps Out by Candace Fleming!

by Candace Fleming
Illustrated by Eric Rohmann
Simon & Schuster Children's
Publishing Division
Picture Book
ages 1+

A very little bulldozer learns that taking care of kittens is a very big job in this follow-up to Bulldozer’s Big Day .

The construction site bustled.
Cement Truck was stirring…stirring…stirring.
Digger Truck was scooping…scooping…scooping.
Crane Truck was lifting…lifting…lifting.
And Bulldozer was—watching…watching…watching.

Little Bulldozer wants to help, but all the bigger trucks say he is too small. So when Crane Truck says he can clear a bit of debris out of the way, Little Bulldozer is eager for the job. He can do it, yes he can. What he doesn’t expect is to find a family of newborn kittens living in the pile of debris! Can he take care of babies? Now that’s a tough job. A job that happens to be just the right size for Little Bulldozer.


The rumbling and grumbling of these tough trucks makes little construction worker hearts beat faster, while throwing in the warm, snuggly feeling even the smallest hard-hat wearer needs.

Everything's busy at the construction site, but the bulldozer feels a little left out. While all of the other strong vehicles rumble around, he has nothing to do. When he finally gets a chance to prove his worth, an unexpected surprise brings everything to a halt.

The exciting activity of a construction site comes to life in these vibrant illustrations. The illustrations are simple enough for younger listeners to sink into without completely losing the detail needed to draw curious eyes in time and again. Kids will have no trouble recognizing their favorite machines as they roar from here to there. The bulldozer gains tons of sympathy as he stands off to the side alone but wants to get involved-a situation kids will be able to understand and empathize with. The text is kept brief but hits home, bringing across the message loud and clear. It's great for even younger kids ages two and up. 

The twist at the end is a big surprise and brings all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings to life. It's unexpected and might have been hinted at least a little in the illustrations before to bring in more flow. But it definitely leaves a smile on the face--as well as a happy sigh--shows that even the toughest shell often holds a gentle heart.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and enjoyed this book so much (and know little construction dreamers will too) that I wanted to leave my honest opinion and thoughts.

And here's the author. . .

Candace Fleming is the acclaimed author of numerous books for children, including Ben Franklin’s Almanac, an ALA Notable Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; as well as Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!; Gabriella’s Song; and When Agnes Caws; all ALA Notable Books. She lives in a suburb of Chicago.

And the illustrator. . .

Eric Rohmann is the Caldecott Medal–winning illustrator of My Friend Rabbit and received a Caldecott Honor for Time Flies. He has both written and illustrated numerous books for children, including Oh, No! and Bone Dog. He lives in Oak Park, Illinois.

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