Bulldozer's Big Day

Book review by
Jan Carr, Common Sense Media
Bulldozer's Big Day Book Poster Image
Fun birthday tale for preschool truck lovers.

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Information about different types of construction vehicles: bulldozer, digger, dump truck, cement mixer, scraper, grader, steamroller, crane. Action verbs associated with construction: "scooping," "sifting," "stirring," "filling," "chopping," "mashing," "lifting."

Positive Messages

Sometimes you think your friends don’t want to play with you, but if you wait, they might. Friends help friends celebrate birthdays.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The construction vehicles are industrious, working together and concentrating on their tasks. They support their friend by planning a surprise party for his birthday.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bulldozer's Big Day by veterans Candace Fleming (Imogene's Last Stand) and Eric Rohmann (Caldecott Medal for My Friend Rabbit) is a good choice for preschool truck lovers. It's Bulldozer's birthday, but when he asks his construction-truck friends if they know what day it is, they're all too busy working -- until the end-of-day whistle, when Crane lowers down a huge steel cake, complete with blazing candles. The story enhances its preschool appeal with action verbs ("scooping," "sifting"), sound words ("wooot," "vroom"), and repetition that helps kids anticipate what's coming.

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What's the story?

In BULLDOZER'S BIG DAY, little Bulldozer can't wait to invite the other construction vehicles to his birthday party. He zooms to the construction site and asks each truck in turn, "Guess what today is!" But the other vehicles are all busy, scooping, sifting, stirring, mashing, and lifting. Bulldozer's blade droops low. But when the end-of-day construction whistle blows "Wooot!" Crane hoists up a big cake, and Bulldozer raises his blade high to blow out the candles.

Is it any good?

Bulldozer's Big Day is a solid choice for young truck lovers. Though the story's been told before (Did everyone forget my birthday? Surprise!), the trucks are a fun twist. The story's spiced with playful sound words ("Tooot!"), lots of muscular action verbs ("scooping," "mashing," "lifting"), and repetition that helps kids anticipate and predict what's going to happen. In Rohmann's bold, blocky art, Bulldozer looks endearingly young, both when he's exuberantly excited and when he's crestfallen, and there are clues in the art and text that signal that the other vehicles may not have forgotten his birthday after all. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about construction vehicles. Can you identify the different vehicles? 

  • Are there any hints in the story or the art that the other vehicles are planning a party? Look closely. What can you find?

  • How do the artist and writer make the construction vehicles seem human? How do we know what their emotions are?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love trucks

Themes & Topics

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