The Digger and the Flower by Joseph Kuefler
The Digger and the Flower
Title: The Digger and the Flower. Synopsis: Digger is fine in his day to day life until he discovers something that needs his help. There are all sorts of courage: facing a dragon, jumping out of an airplane, fighting a fire. But I think sometimes the strongest sort of bravery comes from going against the norm. When you break from your friends to embark on a new journey or change your view from something that the collective previously agreed on, it always threatens to rock a few boats.
Amidst the toiling construction, however, Digger finds a tiny blue flower, and he takes on the role of its caretaker, watering it, shielding it from winds, and singing it to sleep. The encroaching city needs the space, though, and so Dozer cuts the flower clean down, much to Digger's dismay; can the remaining seeds be saved? The environmental message is clear but not didactic; Crane and Dozer aren't vilified and the city itself isn't so much menacing as it is constant and sort of boring, and Digger's successful tending of the seeds is reassuring. The spare text is coupled with Kuefler's simple, effective illustrations. The three trucks begin their work with the rising sun, and as the days go by the clean white background is slowly filled up with sharply angular buildings and roads shaded in blacks and grays, with only a few pops of color. The last spread has more blooms making their way to the skyscrapers and high rises, ending the tale on a visually hopeful note. This is an obvious choice for an Earth Day celebration, but it may also work as a moment of calm in a rowdy truck-themed storytime.
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