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Bulldozer's Big Day by Candice Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann
Bulldozer’s Big Day
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, May 2015
ISBN: 978-1-481-40097-8
hardcover picture book, 40 pages
ages 2 and up

Oh, No!

by Candice Fleming & Eric Rohmann

Big trucks and a birthday surprise make this construction site treat an irresistible read-aloud!

It’s Bulldozer’s big day—his birthday! But around the construction site, it seems like everyone is too busy to remember. Bulldozer wheels around asking his truck friends if they know what day it is, but they each only say it’s a work day. They go on scooping, sifting, stirring, filling, and lifting, and little Bulldozer grows more and more glum. But when the whistle blows at the end of the busy day, Bulldozer discovers a construction site surprise, especially for him!

From Eric:

“Candy and I were driving home from Indianapolis a few years ago and got into a conversation about what the very youngest  readers like to read. After some bad ideas (mostly mine!), Candy hit on the idea of a book for pre-schoolers that had a Bulldozer as the main character. Before we had finished the drive into Chicago she had outlined the basic story and I was enthusiastically thinking about making brightly colored, chunky, toy-like block prints. A few months later and Bulldozer’s Big Day was born.”


Kirkus Reviews, March 3, 2015
* starred review *

“Action-packed pages and playful onomatopoeia will draw the construction obsessed in, while the emotive little bulldozer, so perfectly personified, will capture the hearts and empathy of all. Fleming's seemingly simple text is accessible, teachable, and loads of fun. As in Oh, No! (2012), she and Rohmann team up to great effect. Clever use of angles and perspective emphasize Bulldozer's emotions of disappointment and joy, and the block prints have a warmth and authenticity that both entertain and endear Bulldozer to readers. Matte pages and an embossed cover add to its charm. A winning addition to the construction-vehicle shelf.”

Publishers Weekly, March 30, 2015
The team behind Oh, No! (2012) imagines a construction-site birthday celebration that ends with a multi-story surprise. Wide-eyed Bulldozer bumps and bounces over the site, eager for the bigger, older machines to share in his birthday excitement. “Guess what today is!” Bulldozer asks Digger. But to them, it’s just another day: “Today is a scooping day,” Digger replies. “And a sifting day,” adds Dump Truck. “Sifting... sifting... sifting.” Using relief printing, Rohmann surrounds bright, gauzy fields of color with warm black lines, giving each truck faithful detailing and winning expressiveness. With each disappointing interaction, Bulldozer’s blade droops ever lower, but at the end of the day whistles blow (“Feeef!” “Toot!”), and Crane lifts an enormous birthday cake from the construction site pit, complete with glowing candles. Now readers can go back over the pages and see how Bulldozer’s birthday surprise was made (Digger was moving sprinkles, and Crane was lifting candles). The power of giant construction equipment makes a fine vehicle (ahem) to convey the outsize excitement of a special day.” Agent: Ethan Ellenberg, Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency.

School Library Journal, March 1, 2015
“Rohmann's signature relief (block) prints are a perfect complement to Fleming's earnest tale. The bold black lines of the machines and construction site are balanced by the black framed pages and offset by the trucks' primary colors and variable backgrounds in blues and white. Chunky details, especially the trucks' eyes and the rubble they're tending, make the story come alive. The heavyweight matte paper and relief lettering on the dust jacket add satisfying tactile details to the engaging text and playful illustrations. VERDICT This masterfully crafted story will become a favorite read-aloud choice.” —Lynn Van Auken, Oak Bluffs School, Oak Bluffs, MA

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