As fall sets in, I already miss the loose, soft dirt that will harden with frost and soon be covered in ice and snow. I will have to read Dig In! in the middle of winter to feel the moist dirt in my hands vicariously through the little hand of a child exploring the world underground. In fact, all you see is the child’s hand, which has a way of making the reader feel the dirt all the more as he or she discovers underground treasures like a stone, a spider, and a pill bug (I had to laugh at this after reviewing Hank’s Big Day last week!). Mary Peterson’s colorful and bold illustrations are a nice complement to Cindy Jenson-Elliot’s simple text. I love the ending when dirt turns to “MUD!” and muddy footprints that feel like your own walk right off the page. Jenson-Elliot infuses her love of gardening into this book as she does similarly in Weeds Find a Way and in her wonderful blog, Nature Explorer, where she shares her experiences as an author, gardener and teacher of science and writing. Both are very much worth checking out.
Suggested Ages – This book is great for pre-K kids who will love a story about dirt and can imagine their way right through the story. It is a great invitation for readers of all ages to “dig in!”.