I'm Dirty!

Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
I'm Dirty! Book Poster Image
Great read-aloud for truck-crazed kids.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Shows what a dumpster site looks like, and what a backhoe does. 

Positive Messages

Things can get messy and dirty when you clean things up. Things get done when you work hard. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The backhoe narrator is a take-charge leader and an enthusiastic worker. 

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that I'm Dirty!, which is narrated by a backhoe loader, is a great bet for kids who love trucks and construction. It and I'm Stinky!, the garbage truck-narrated book in Kate and Jim McMullen's popular vehicle book series, have been adapted for the streaming animated series The Stinky & Dirty Show. Other books in the series include I'm Tough! about a pickup truck, I'm Brave! about a firetruck, and I'm Smart! about a school bus.

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What's the story?

A friendly backhoe loader takes readers to his dumpster job site for some messy cleaning up.

Is it any good?

This rollicking picture book packs a lot of action in the illustrations and the story. Any child who's fascinated by construction sites or big, yellow trucks will love the busy, buzzing monologue by an enthusiastic backhoe loader. Words and pictures mesh perfectly here. The grungy, rough background looks delightfully messy, and the bright orange-yellow of our friendly narrator pushes past his chunky outline, emphasizing his strength and zeal.

The text is informative (sharing the bits and pieces that make up a backhoe's tool chest), educational (a four-page spread counts backward as the truck cleans up old tires and broken lawn chairs), and entertaining. Kids who love mess and mud will like watching the backhoe become dirtier the more he helps clean. Bursting with energetic fonts that boom out in capitals and boldface, this book is fun to read aloud -- just be sure to keep it off the naptime book list.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about trucks -- the big ones and the filthy ones. Which ones are your favorites? 

  • Play make-believe with mud or sand, behaving the way a backhoe would. (If a muddy mess is inconvenient, parents could dump a package of rice in a casserole dish and let kids dig in.)

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love cars and trucks

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