From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–With a style familiar to fans of Im Mighty!
(2003) and I Stink!
(2002, both HarperCollins), McMullan introduces a sassy backhoe loader who relishes his dirty job. He brags about his equipment and then heads to work, where he cleans up an abandoned lot. Cleaning up this mess? Easy as pie. Make that a MUD
pie. Counting down from 10 to 1, the backhoe removes the alliterative trash: 4 cat-clawed couches, 3 scuffed-up signs, 2 tossed-out toilet seats, 1 wonky washing machine. Then, he pulls out a tree stump, takes a mud bath, and back-drags his bucket over the dirt. Throughout the story, the machine becomes progressively dirtier, with a repeating motif of mud. The text flies about the pages, changing size, shape, and orientation. With its saucy tone and dynamic color cartoon illustrations, this picture book exudes energy.–Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR
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*Starred Review* The irresistible, growling garbage-truck star of the McMullens' I Stink!
(2002) collected legions of small fans. This follow-up's narrator, a swaggering, dirt-loving backhoe loader, is just as likable. The books' formats are similar. Stink
weaves an alphabet game into the text; here, there is a counting exercise as the backhoe loader lists the piles of clutter it moves, from "10 torn-up truck tires" to "7 loused-up lawn chairs," while clearing a vacant lot. As in the previous title, the high-octane, boasting voice and energetic, bold-lined illustrations transform the machine into a loud-mouthed, fully anthropomorphized character that will instantly captivate kids. The short, choppy phrases, filled with sound, are just right for jolly, raucous read-alouds: "Ugh! Arrrrrrrgh! Mmmmmmmmmph! Tim-berrrrrrrr!" Pint-size gear-heads will love the spreads showing the backhoe loader using all of his features, from front claw to back wheels, and most kids will find plenty of vicarious fun in the grinning, powerful monster machine that creates and conquers chaos and loves a good mud bath. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved