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I Am a Backhoe
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I Am a Backhoe

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  167 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
"Dig, dig, dig. Lift, turn, tip.
I am . . .a backhoe."
In spare text and vibrant illustrations, a little boy pretends to be a bulldozer, a crane, a dump truck, and a roller. And finally, he parks on the couch with his father for a quiet moment.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 12th 2010 by Tricycle Press (first published 2010)
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Rating details
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Mary Anne
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Cute, a little boy pretends to be a variety of trucks as he plays. Great illustrations. Little boys will want to read and them pretend they are trucks too!
Camille Rickis
Dec 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a very easy-reader for children who have just started reading, or who have books read to them. As this young boy explores the ways he can pretend to be different pieces of construction machinery, the reader is able to learn about these same pieces of machinery in a simple and not wordy way, which is good for children still building their vocabulary. The illustrations are also simple and to the point, and do not do much to improve the text other than to provide a visual representation.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Christopher did not like this book, I thought it was nicely done, H loved it! And in the days since we've started reading it, H is play-acting the motions of construction equipment so it encourages movement too.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute book.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
My 3yo son actually somehow found this among the shelves at the library and picked it out and told me he wanted to check it out. He also ended up really loving it. Go figure.
Build a Home
Deep the cellar, timbers high,
(Both hands point down, then up -- arms full length.)
Pointed roof up in the sky,
(Bring fingertips together over the head.)
Drive the nails in straight and true,
(Hammer with one fist on the other.)
Build a house for me and you.
(Continue to hammer.)
Windows, shining eyes to see,
(Circle hands at eyes and 'peek' in.)
Doors open wide to welcome me,
(Open arms wide.)
Fire glowing, oh, so bright,
('Warm' hands in front of fire, then rub hands together.)
That is HOME on
Feb 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A perfect book for toddlers who love trucks, this book invitingly combines imaginative play and real trucks. The little boy plays pretending to be a backhoe, a bulldozer, a roller, a flatbed truck, and more. As he plays, he describes what he is doing and then the reader gets to guess what kind of truck he is pretending to be. Printed on thick paper with bright, clear illustrations, this book is a welcome addition to even the most crowded of truck shelves.

Written in simple rhymes that have a gent
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Summary: A young boy imagines himself to be different types of trucks as he plays in the sand.

Good book to use with Toddler or Preschool story time. One of my favorites!

I dig my hand
into the sand,
my scooper hand.
Dig. Dig. Dig.
Lift, turn, tip.
I am...

a backhoe.

Bright, bold illustrations. Text encourages children to move like the truck and also to guess what truck the author is talking about. Good for children to participate with during the read aloud.

Themes: trucks, movement

Good to use wi
Martha Freeman
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I once tried to write a picturebook to suit my truck-happy young son, but nothing worked. “I Am a Backhoe,” written and illustrated by Anna Grossnickle Hines, is the book I couldn’t write. A little boy plays in the dirt or with his blocks, always imagining that he’s really piece of heavy equipment – a backhoe, a crane truck, a bulldozer.

Hines’s rhythmic text is never forced, and her simple, colorful, digitally enhanced illustrations will appeal especially to very young children. The book works o
Cassandra Gelvin
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Trucks and trucks and trucks and trucks and... MORE TRUCKS

It's pretty boring. There's not a lot to it. It's simplistic, and unfortunately not in an endearing way. It's basically a little boy pretending to be various kinds of trucks. "I like trucks. And so does daddy." The end.

I guess a kid who likes trucks might enjoy the book, but the language is so basic and there's so little of it there, and the art doesn't really make up for it, that it would get annoying to read to a kid repeatedly.

For more
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
This book has bright colors, beautiful artwork, and great physical actions that the kids can perform while reading it. Mommies may be annoyed that it centers on Daddy a little more than other books at the end, but it's great. It also has a shocking ending in which the Daddy and the little boy end up reading the book that they are characters in. Almost breaks the fourth wall. So close. Perhaps this is to prepare our young ones for the great self-referential works of the modern classics. Or maybe ...more
Mar 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Two - Kindergarten
Shelves: vocabulary, preschool
Great for truck lovers! The child imagines himself as various trucks (vocabulary: backhoe, bulldozer, crane, dump truck, and steamroller) throughout the story and acts out the motions. Children can act out along with the book or can take a guess as to which truck is being described. Fun to read and act out!

Early Literacy Skills:

Phonological Awareness
Print Motivation
Jan 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
I like the color scheme. I also like the imagination and realism and the prediction of what machine he is pretending to be. I think kids would like seeing the realistic-looking machines and seeing things they do in real life show up in a book. I also liked and think kids would enjoy the kid's facial features.
A little boy playing in a sandbox pretends to be different types of construction machines, scooping sand like a backhoe, pushing like a bulldozer, streching and lifting like a crane. The trucks he imagines appear behind him in the illustrations. Short text and young child make this one perfect for toddler storytime.
Jun 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 577-the-list
Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended Book (2011)

I wasn't particularly impressed with this one, though it could be good for little ones who are really into trucks. The text just doesn't flow as well as I'd like, but I did enjoy the silly illustrations of the boy acting out the various truck functions, sometime to hilarious effect.
Zachary Rawlins
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a really great kids book, my nephew's favorite. When I was a kid, I loved nothing more than trucks, tractors, and construction equipment, and this book really captures that nostalgia. Lovely art and layout. I really enjoyed this, and recommend it for anyone with a young boy who loves trucks.
Aug 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
All Ages

A little boy pretends to be a variety of different trucks including a backhoe, bulldozer, and roller.

This would be a fun book to have the kids out how to be different trucks just like the little boy. You could expand this from construction equipment to include other things that go, like trains, as well.
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, picture_book
A little boy playing in a sandbox pretends to be different types of construction machines, scooping sand like a backhoe, pushing like a bulldozer, stretching and lifting like a crane. - Robin, Youth Services Librarian

Reserve a library copy!
Jaimee Huskins
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was not that entertaining, however it gives very good visual on how to pretend to be something you are not. It also gives new terminology of the different types of trucks and what they do.

Activities that can work with this book:

Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
A nice book to share with little ones - they can act out this book and what little boy doesn't LOVE construction equipment. Might use this during the upcoming SRP - Dig into Reading for Tiny Tots story time.
Cute book for that 3 yr old who loves big trucks and construction and will not sit still. This is the book that will get him listening to books so he can be all of the vehicles he reads about.
Kirkus Best Children's Books 2010
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent book about construction vehicles, pretend play, and using your imagination to figure out what vehicle the boy is pretending to be! Very fun book for boys! Especially if they will act out the vehicles as you read!
Katie Fitzgerald
Read at Tales for Twos and Threes on 7/15/11:

Read at Pajama Story Time on 2/27/13:
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
The young boy acts out the actions of different construction equipment--backhoe, roller, dump truck, etc. Simple text & nice illustrations. Nothing too fancy, but nice when you have construction just down the street.
This is a great book for very young children who like construction vehicles. It talks about the ways in which these trucks move and how children can move just like them! It is short and sweet with lots of repetition.
Jan 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A good choice for boys -- incorporates trucks and imaginative play.
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bunny-hop
This one worked well with the little ones and allowed me to break out of a bit of an animals/colors/shapes rut we have been in.
Nancy J.

Suitable for younger group and playground follow-up activities.
Dec 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture_books
A simple story about a boy who imitates various kinds of trucks. Young children will have fun joining in.
Simple rhyming text of a boy who pretends to be different trucks. My son was not to impressed but it might be great book for the age group that can imagine what the boy portrays.
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