The digger and the flower

Joseph Kuefler

Book - 2018

When Digger discovers a flower growing in the center of the town being built, his entire perspective changes.

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Picture books
New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2018]
Main Author
Joseph Kuefler (author)
First Edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Digger and two other construction vehicles, a crane and a bulldozer, work long days erecting buildings, roads, and bridges. In an empty lot, Digger discovers a small flower, which he protects and nurtures. When the other two destroy the flower to prepare the lot for construction, Digger salvages the seeds, plants them on a hilltop far from the city, and, when they grow, he cares for them as he did the original flower. The final wordless spread hints that the new flowers might multiply and migrate back toward the city. The theme recalls the works of Virginia Lee Burton think Mike Mulligan's Mary Anne meets The Little House. However, the matte illustrations are spare, somber, and ultramodern, consisting mostly of cityscapes in gritty gray and black tones. Color is reserved to accentuate the country scenes and highlight the characters. The text is short, pointed, and well suited for reading aloud. This lacks the flashy-equipment-doing-wondrous-things feature in others of this ilk, but it will find an audience with those who like vehicles with personality and heart.--Enos, Randall Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Crane, Dozer, and Digger work together to build everything that's needed for a city: buildings, bridges, and roads. Then Digger spies a single blue flower, and he's besotted. "Hello, there," he greets it. While Crane and Dozer build on, Digger waters the flower, shields it from the wind, and sings to it. But the lot on which the blue flower stands is the last empty site in the city; in a scene that may be difficult for sensitive readers, Dozer summarily cuts the flower down. Shaken, Digger finds a way for the flower to live on. The image of the clunky piece of construction equipment tenderly caring for the fragile plant gives the story charm, and so do its strong, simple images. The red, orange, and school-bus yellow of the vehicles stand out against the black-and-white buildings, and the landscape is textured with halftone dots, like close-ups of old newspaper photos. Kuefler (Rulers of the Playground) doesn't try to make readers laugh; Digger's project is treated with a seriousness that befits a tale about the conflict between civilization and nature. Ages 4-8. Agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Each day, the trucks hoist, push, and dig as they work together to build tall buildings, long roads, and big bridges. The work is the same day after day until one day Digger is inspired to make a change. Upon the discovery of a tiny and beautiful blue flower in the rubble, Digger decides to care for the flower by watering it, shielding it from wind and rain, and even singing the flower bedtime lullabies. After the flower is destroyed, Digger travels past the farthest building and far away to scatter the seeds of the tiny blue flower. His decision will change his life and the city forever. Kuefler's simply written and beautifully illustrated tale has a powerful message about the importance of the environment. The brightly colored and textured digital art displays contrast between the black and gray of the city and the blues and greens of the natural world that Digger works so hard to preserve. With one small choice, Digger plants the seeds of change. And despite the giant skyscrapers that he left behind, he makes his own lasting mark by growing lovely blue flowers. VERDICT A wonderful, inspiring tale, perfect for read-alouds. Great for all libraries.-Elizabeth Blake, Brooklyn Public Library © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

In this gentle message story ` la Pixar's WALL-E, Digger befriends a flower as he builds with other construction trucks in a barren city lot. Although Digger cannot save the flower from city development, he rescues its seeds and plants them far away. The striking illustrations in muted grays use flashes of color effectively, especially on the final spread, a powerful image of nature's resilience. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

An altruistic excavator finds life's meaning when it stops to smell the flowers. This sweet, succinct tale begins with three big trucks poised to build a town where there is none. The crane and the bulldozer are content with their lot, but everything changes for the digger the minute it spies a single, solitary blue blossom in the center of the new town. Abandoning his mission with a sudden, botany-based change of heart, Digger visits, tends, protects, and serenades the delicate flower. Progress has little time for horticulture, however, and soon the bloom is cruelly cut down. Yet as it turns out, the digger's talents are perfect for the planting of new seeds. The last image of the book is a silent and hopeful spread of the cold, colorless town backgrounding the slow spread of new, tender little blue sprouts. Kuefler imbues the text with the heart and soul of the best storytime fare. The digger didn't just plant something, he "tucked the seeds into the warm earth." The repetition of comforting cadences softens the stark, spare, square design. In the midst of all that urban progress, the lonely blue petals offer stark relief.Short of Maryann's abandoning Mike Mulligan for a life of conservation and gardening, one couldn't hope for a better tale of rebirth and regeneration in the face of unchecked industrial sprawl. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.