I'm Dirty!



Great read aloud for truck-crazed kids.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's nothing offensive here; this picture book is a great bet for kids who love trucks and construction.

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What's the story?

A friendly backhoe 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about trucks -- the big ones and the filthy ones, and which ones are favorites. Families can also play make believe with mud or sand, behaving the way a backhoe would. (Or, if a muddy mess is inconvenient, parents could dump a package of rice in a casserole dish and let kids dig in.)

Book details

Authors:Kate McMullan, Susan Meddaugh
Illustrators:Jim McMullan, Paul Meisel
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date:August 15, 2006
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7
Read aloud:4
Read alone:8

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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