The Digger and the Flower

A crane, a dozer and a digger watch the sun come up. It's "morning and the big trucks [are] ready to work." Bright red Crane hoists; bold orange Dozer pushes; and sunshine yellow Digger digs. Where before there was only flat, black-and-white pixelated ground and a blank white sky, "[t]ogether," they are building "tall buildings for working." A city grows up around them, the three trucks the only pops of color in the gray-scaled world.

Crane and Dozer take a break, exhausted from the day's building, but Digger has "found something in the rubble." A tiny blue and green flower has popped up, another splash of color in the otherwise monochromatic world. Digger is immediately enamored with the fragile plant and begins to visit it every day while the other big trucks build. What had been the tiniest of flowers grows under Digger's gentle care. But so does the city. Soon, "every space ha[s] been filled." Every space, that is, "but one." Before Digger can protest, Dozer cuts down the flower. On the page turn, despondent Digger is shown surrounded by a cloud of black exhaust, holding the dead flower. When the smoke clears, though, Digger sees something: "Little seeds."

Author/illustrator Jason Kuefler's The Digger and the Flower is a tender story, showing that even when life is unfair, there are plenty of reasons to keep on trying. Digger may have lost his tiny city flower but he takes his seeds to "a place no big truck ha[s] ever been," and plants them there. They bloom strong and hopeful, brightly colored against their lush, green background, and the final page shows them ever-so-slowly encroaching upon the city's space. A gentle story with charming illustrations, The Digger and the Flower is sure to win any reader's heart. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor

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