Our middle son was one of those little boys who always had a toy yellow loader or dump truck in his hands. He spent hours in our backyard moving dirt, and even more hours assembling truck puzzles. I cherish his collection of best-loved truck books, and because of him, am forever drawn to new truck books. Which is why I was pretty excited to see the poetry book DIGGER DOZER DUMPER by Hope Vestergaard with illustrations by David Slonim.
There's a truck for everyone in this book. Lots of rhyme, lots of action, and each truck seems to have its own personality. Some are even identified as female, which I love. The book ends with a question:
"Which truck would YOU like to be?"
To answer that question, I give you one of my favorite poems from the collection:
by Hope Vestergaard
The cherry picker's lanky arm
unfolds into the air,
reaching high among the trees
to find what's lurking there:
a traffic light,
a broken branch,
a kite that lost its way,
a waving wire,
a pointy spire,
a lonesome little stray.
The picker pauses in the sky,
plucks its target,
gently, slowly, gracefully
sets it down again.
Lovely, huh? And now, I have a special treat for you. I contacted author Hope Vestergaard and asked her the same question! Here's what she said:
"I think I'd say I'm most like the steam roller...not so much because I'm slow, but I am verrrry steady. Even deliberate. When tackling projects, I am usually more focused on the process rather than the product. This doesn't mean I'm unconcerned with the product, on the contrary! It's just that I believe good process yields good product...and if not good product, it provides important learning! When I say I'm deliberate, I don't mean I am rigid, more thoughtful, really. Sometimes my process might look chaotic, but I have learned that particular approaches (for example, the "tornado," or sometimes the "giant checklist") work for me."
So, for Hope, who has given us such a fun book, here's the corresponding poem:
by Hope Vestergaard
After the asphalt's dumped and spread
in sticky, long black lines,
the road must cure. You can be sure
Steamroller's close behind.
She's broad and big, a massive rig-
molasses slow, but steady.
And after she has barreled through,
the road is smooth and ready.
Steamroller, indeed! Here's Hope again with a little more on how this book came to be:
"I wrote this book several years after the initial spark. My husband is in construction and I noticed that his big, powerful vehicles actually did quite precise and even graceful work. I'm not very interested in machinery and I find some of these vehicles very compelling so I thought preschoolers who love vehicles would probably like to explore them more in depth."
Thank you, Hope! And please, everyone, don't forget to nominate your favorite poetry books for 2013 Cybils Awards! (Yes, DIGGER DOZER DUMPER is already on the list.)