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The Digger and the Flower
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The Digger and the Flower

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  665 ratings  ·  142 reviews
From the acclaimed author/artist of Beyond the Pond and Rulers of the Playground comes a breathtaking new book with a powerful message about the environment, perfect for fans of Peter Brown’s The Curious Garden and Kadir Nelson’s If You Plant a Seed.

Each day, the big trucks go to work. They scoop and hoist and push.

But when Digger discovers something growing in the rubble,
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published January 23rd 2018 by Balzer + Bray
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3.83  · 
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 ·  665 ratings  ·  142 reviews

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Spencer Orey
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
My kid cannot get enough of this book even though he doesn't totally understand the digger's existential crisis. He does get excited that there are more flowers at the end. I think it could've used one or two more pages, maybe a field of wildflowers or something. But seriously we have read this book over and over and over and it isn't getting old yet, so that's something special!
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this story and how the Digger wanted to save the one flower in a city of tall buildings and concrete but sadly it ended too abruptly.
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mock-caldecott
Is Digger still employed?
Debbie Smith
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Three large trucks, a crane to hoist, a dozer to push, and a digger to dig, work together to build large buildings, bridges, and roads for a city. But Digger finds a small flower in the rubble and stops working with the other two trucks so that he can water the flower, protect it from wind, and sing it a song at night. Eventually, the only place in the city that isn't complete is the plot of land where the flower is growing. Before Digger can stop him, Dozer cuts the flower down. But Digger isn’ ...more
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Alas, I'm "meh" on this one. The ending is abrupt - did Digger just not go back to work? and the book as a whole seems to imply that commercial development and nature are mutually exclusive. The flowers have to be taken far, far away so the very last inch of the city can be built on. Digger never really changed anything - and certainly not the whole city, forever.
Miss Pippi the Librarian
Big trucks are building a city. Crane, Dozer, and Digger are working hard. Digger notices and little green and starts to take care of the little bud.

A great story to share about green space in a world of gray. The illustrations are wonderful with all the layers of texture.

2018 storytime theme: dirt & rocks

Reviewed from a library copy.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Each day in the City, Crane hoists, Bulldozer pushes, and Digger scoops. They make roads for driving, bridges for crossing, and buildings for working. When Digger discovers a flower in the last untouched soil of the city, he begins to nurture it. He waters it when its leaves look dry, shields it when the wind blows, and sings a lullaby when it’s time to sleep. One day when tragedy strikes, Digger turns his sadness into action, changing the City forever.

This is my three-year-old’s latest favorite
May 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids-books
The pictures were well rendered but the story? Why would a truck love a flower? And in the effort to save three seeds, how many plants did the digger destroy with its treads and scoop - millions? But it’s ok - I saved a plant I love - screw all those plants YOU love. Sigh. We humans never learn. The idea that this book is some kind of treatise on environmentalism would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sweet and powerful.
GinaRose Cristello
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anthony-s
Anthony cannot get enough of this story. And what better message for a little one than to see and protect beauty??
Alison Reads
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3-4, transportation, 3-5
Three hard working trucks are building a city. Digger discovers a flower in an otherwise barren city. He lovingly cares for it until the day Dozer cuts it down so they can add yet another building. Digger is devastated until he spies some seeds on the ground next to the flower. He carefully takes the seeds, drives far away, and raises the flowers.

I saw this book on a list of the best picture books of 2018 and then when I saw it at the library the next day I figured it was a sign. Of course, I pr
This one was more of an emotional roller coaster than I was initially expecting.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
As a piece of construction equipment, Digger works to develop the land and never even considers preservation (or sustainable land use) until he discovers a flower. He cares for the flower until the day when only undeveloped space left in the city was the plot of land in which the flower grew. Before Digger can formulate an argument for the inclusion of green space in the city's design, his coworker Dozer cuts down the flower. Digger is heartbroken until he discovers the flower's seeds in the rub ...more
Beth Rodgers
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
'The Digger and the Flower' by Joseph Kuefler shows the power of goodness when everything else seems to be overtaking what one knows and loves.

While the other construction equipment works hard to create buildings and other components of the city skyline, Digger comes upon a flower. Sympathy overpowers him, and he knows that he needs to protect it from the encroaching construction work. He does what he can to keep it safe, shielding it from the wind and visiting with it, but alas, the time eventu
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love how this book personifies the construction equipment. I had every Kindergarten student rapt from the first second they noticed the various equipment pieces. "They all have tracks," one excited boy noted. "They also have eyes!" said another. We wondered aloud how the flower and the digger might have a conflict. The digger protects the flower as the city grows up around it. When the flower finally is dozed over, the digger grows sad but notices the flower had dropped its seeds. The digger t ...more
Crane, Dozer and Digger worked together in the big city. They built buildings, roads and bridges. Digger found a beautiful flower one day while working in the rubble. He loved that flower. He watered it and shielded it and sang it a bedtime song. But eventually all of the space to build buildings was gone and Crane and Dozer wanted to use the small space where the flower was anchored. Before Digger could stop him, Dozer had dozed over the flower. Digger was crushed. But as he picked up the remai ...more
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
A story of three trucks, Crane, Dozer and Digger, who mindlessly build and build until Digger notices a flower in the rubble. Struck by its beauty, Digger takes care of the flower as the other trucks continue to build around him until finally there is no more space to build on except the strip of earth where the flower grows. After the flower is cut down Digger replants the seeds where “no big truck had ever been” and continues to care for them. This story was reminiscent of Virginia Lee Burton’ ...more
Crane, Dozer, and Digger are all big trucks whose job it is to build the city. They work hard all day long. One day Digger finds a flower at their work site and becomes fascinated with it. He cares for it, looks after it, and is horrified when Dozer cuts it down to make way for yet another building. The flower leaves something important behind, however - seeds. Digger takes these far from the city and plants them, looking after them the same way he did with the flower. Soon, they are sprouting, ...more
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Crane, Dozer and Digger are three big trucks who work hard to build big buildings, roads and bridges. Then one day Digger discovered a tiny flower in the rubble. Digger took care of the flower, watering it, protecting it from the wind and singing to it just before he went to sleep nearby. Soon though, the empty lot that the flower grew in was needed for building. Before Digger could stop him, Dozer cut the flower down. Digger was so sad, but there on the ground were three little seeds. The illus ...more
Stephanie Bange
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent choice that blends ecology and construction...

Digger Truck and his friends are building the city, one building at a time. One day he discovers a small blue flower on a building site. He cares for it until one of his friends destroys the flower (it was the last lot to be developed). Digger notices some seeds fall from the flower. He takes those seeds far out in the country, where he cares for them and they multiply.

Kuefler's simple text is approachable for the very youngest readers.
Big trucks are built for building. They are not expected to do anything but clear land to build something on it. A digger notices a flower on a small plot of land in the middle of a city. He cares for it everyday. Then one day, the trucks realize that that small plot of land is the only one in the city that hasn't been developed. Before the digger can stop it, the dozer plows down the flower. The digger is devastated. Then he sees the seeds left from the flower! He takes the seeds and goes far, ...more
Big trucks, Crane, Dozer and Digger, work together to build lots of different things like roads, bridges and tall buildings but when Digger finds a tiny flower in the rubble, things change. Instead of going to work with the other big trucks, Digger cares for the flower. Soon an entire city is built up around Digger and the flower. The other trucks need the space to keep building and cut the flower down. Digger is heartbroken but soon a new idea is planted. This story is a new and gentle perspect ...more
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Digger and his fellow trucks spend their day building in the city, but when Digger finds a small flower we add tending to the flower to his day. The flower grows, but so does the city and one day the flower is pushed over to make way for a building. Digger finds seeds and carries them past the last house and tends them until they grow. This simple story of growth and care shines with straight forward text and digital illustrations that feature a limited palette. The truck and the flower are spot ...more
This is a picture book that would be good to share with young readers as springtime and Earth Day approaches. Digger works with other huge pieces of construction equipment to build buildings, roads, and bridges. When Digger discovers a little flower growing in the last empty lot in the city, he works very hard to take care of it. But commercial development won’t be stopped because of a flower, and Digger’s little friend is cut down. Digger’s reaction is very sweet and heartwarming. This could le ...more
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, storytime
I liked this until the end when it seemed to just stop. You have the digger who finds a flower and cares for it, only to have another big truck bulldoze it. Then the digger finds some seeds and takes them far away from the city, plants and cares for them. The illustrations show us they grow and bloom, but the story stops there. I would have liked to know if the digger started a garden, if he ever went back to the city, how the other trucks keep building without him.
Kids may not care, but I want
Well, at first I thought this would be for the youngest readers, but now after reading, it actually poses an existential question, "Do I have a greater purpose?". For the younger readers, it's a story of a machine turned into someone that cares, this time about a little flower. For older readers, what have I missed noticing in the world where I can make a difference? The story has the flavor to me of an old picture book by Virginia Lee Burton, The Little House. The illustrations too are big and ...more
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great little story about a digger, a crane, and a dozer. They build buildings & cities; however, the digger has a soft spot for a flower that he protects in the city while all this building is going on. However, the dozer destroys the flower, so the digger collects its seeds and moves the flower parts out to the country so that it can grow again while being nurtured by the digger.

It's a great story for young children--talking about big machinery, growing & taking care of plants, the bu
Kat Harrison
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it
A perfect Earth Day read, "The Digger and the Flower" tells the story of three construction trucks: Dozer, Digger, and Crane. They're busy at work, doing what they do best--dozing, digging and hoisting. But in a subtle change of heart, Digger takes a break from building and turns to nurturing a flower. Until one day...(I won't ruin it for you). Like other reviews, I do wonder about the ending - I see where Kuefler was hoping to go, but it leaves the reader with more questions than answers. But i ...more
Bizzy's Books
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oh my goodness, what a wonderful little story. I borrowed it from the library because one of my boys is obsessed with diggers, but the story is so lovely and accessible and has such a kind message about taking care of others and of the planet that I will be adding this to our permanent collection. The pictures are beautiful and the story is so lovely. Be warned - it has some sad elements that might affect your little ones! With books like this, I always recommend reading it before reading it wit ...more
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