Review Blog

Dec 16 2016

Dog on a digger: The tricky incident by Kate Prendergast

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Old Barn Books, 2016. ISBN 9781910646144
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Kate Prendergast draws from her transport industry background creating detailed images of machinery set against an urban landscape filled with heavy machinery. This wordless picture book with detailed black and white pencil drawings with highlights of yellow and blue is a story of friendship, loyalty and thoughtfulness.
Dog lives with his owner in a caravan surrounded by trucks, heavy equipment and building supplies. The panoramic front spread highlights the urban landscape at night; an owl flies by watched by a city fox. Morning comes and dog wakes his master up with licks to the face, time to start the day; meanwhile the food truck's owner and her little white dog open up ready to sell hearty meals to the workers. Dog joins his master in the cab of the big yellow digger ready to move all the building rubble into the truck. Both of them wear yellow safety vests. The digger's scoop is humanised - bolts become eyes and the large mouth opens and closes eating up the rubble and scrap wood.
At morning teatime, Dog plays with the small white dog sharing a bowl of food, while their owners chat over a cup of tea. In an instant, the little canine disappears and Dog sets off in a hurried search climbing the stairs of the building next door to see where his friend has gone. With the aid of Dog's owner, he guides him to rescue the lost animal stuck in a grate beside the canal.
Dog on a digger is an enjoyable picture book, when shared with a class; students can add their own narrative, writing text in sticky notes on each page, developing a class book. Pet ownership and being responsible are topics for discussion as well. For Art, explore pencil sketching, highlighting one element in colour; introduce expressive drawing and humanising inanimate objects like Thomas the Tank Engine and the yellow digger.
Rhyllis Bignell

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