Archive for January 3rd, 2011

January 3, 2011

As a mom, I think I’m more the dirt than the backhoe

But still, this is a great book. Most books from Tricycle Press are, in fact. I love their Eco Babies, Foodie Babies series and their ethnic food series. So I wasn’t surprised to love this one, too.

Title: I Am A Backhoe
Author
: Anna Grossnickle Hines
Genre
: Picture Book
Age
:0 – 7

Summary and Review:

So, I knew only two things about this book before buying it: the title and the fact that it was on the Kirkus Book Review 2010 list.  But in reality, I only needed to know the title.  I gave it to my son approximately four hours ago, and despite the fact that we’ve been out of the house for two of those hours, we’ve still managed to read it over six times.  The seventh reading is currently in progress upstairs as Dad does bedtime.  He LOVES this book.  And so do I.  The text is simple yet elegant–perfectly written and edited.  The illustrations are also great.  They are simple, but with brightly brilliant backgrounds that rainbow throughout the book.  The book, as you would imagine by the title, focuses on a boy who pretends to be various construction vehicles.  It emphasizes, with its pictures and words, the actions he takes–digging with his hands to be a backhoe or rolling on the floor to be a roller.

I also like it because the parent character is a dad.  Some would say that it’s sexist to have a truck book with just a son and a dad, but so many picture books are all about the moms, and it’s nice to see a good role model dad in there.  And as for being sexist, well, I just don’t know.  I tagged this book in the category “mostly boys”.  It’s not that I don’t think girls would like it, or that you shouldn’t buy it for a girl.  But I do think there is some kind of magical bond between small boys and construction vehicles that isn’t necessarily there for girls.  And that’s just my way of saying that this is a very typically boy book.  It’s up to you if you want to buy typically boy books for your boys or your girls.

Follow-up with the kids:

Books, TV shows, and anything else that encourages physical movement is really in right now, for obvious reasons if you’ve read any of the studies on childhood obesity.  I’m not sure if that was part of the author’s intentions, but it’s there.  This book encourages physical movement, creativity, imagination, play, and family interaction.  All good things.  Get down and dirty!