The Flying Diggers by Ian Whybrow and David Melling
|The Flying Diggers by Ian Whybrow and David Melling|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: Perfect reading for children who love diggers, tractors and other big machines - the odd twist keeps it fresh and exciting. General readers might find it a bit incongruous, but there's still plenty to enjoy.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: May 2009|
|Publisher: Hodder Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Granbam makes a couple of toy diggers for Ruby and Teddy. As lovely as they are as toys, they're a bit spesh too: when the keys flash, it's time for Team FD to spring into action and fly to the jungle in their magical diggers. There's a tiger cub that needs to be saved from some mean ol' nasty crocodiles, and only Team FD are able to save him.
There's a very clear market for The Flying Diggers - it's the children (and as bad as stereotypes are, it is boys mainly) who love tractors and diggers and hard hats and Bob the Builder and saying vroom vroom vroom. Parents will know from the name alone whether this is a book for their young 'uns. Tractor fans will lap it up. The twist of flying off to the jungle makes it brilliantly different - it's a godsend for those who thought they'd have to start reading JCB catalogues to their offspring!
Whilst flying off to the jungle works perfectly for those up to their eyeballs in diggers, it's a bit incongruous for general readers. Although it's not confusing, it does feel like two stories in one. A little suspension of disbelief never hurt anyone, but some children may be left with the nagging question of why? It's by no means a book to steer clear of, but there are some children that it won't click with.
I loved David Melling's illustrations, particularly in the jungle scenes. The crocodiles and tigers are brilliantly expressive, and have a real sense of comic fun. I was reminded of Disney films like Robin Hood - a personal favourite. You can see further examples of Melling's illustrations at DavidMelling.co.uk. Ian Whybrow's website is at IanWhybrow.com.
Thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
There are diggers (as well as all manner of other machines and workers) in What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry. For jungle fun, in a slightly different vein to most books, check out Giraffes Can't Dance Magnet Book by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees.
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Michael loves such things.
I found it spookily disconcerting when his first 2 syllable word turned out to be TRACTOR!!!!!!!! (I am a city person born-and-bred and in my heart too, with a sprinkling of sea, and I am now a mother of two country children... horrible).
If you think that's bad, imagine the horror on the faces of country parents who have a city child whose first word is frappuccino!