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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

The Little Yellow Digger ABC by Peter Gilderdale

Based on New Zealand's all-time favourite digger, this lift-the-flap alphabet book brings the series to a new generation.

For more than 20 years, the words from The Little Yellow Digger have resonated in households throughout the country.

Peter Gilderdale has worked with his mother Betty's series of stories, and utilised his father Alan's familiar art from the original story to create this new book.

The rhyming story echoes the classic story in rhythm and rhyme, and takes readers to the beach, to the sea, and to an archaeological dig.

The book was not what we expected at first. Instead of simply taking objects from the original books and using one letter for each page, it weaves together all five narratives. Gilderdale creates a new story that uses the rhyming words to help children get to know the alphabet. It's a fun story to read aloud, with lots of opportunities to add plenty of expression to the story.

Peter is a senior lecturer in communication design at AUT, and is a calligrapher. It is his calligraphy-style alphabet letters hidden beneath the flaps. Gilderdale is clearly a talented calligrapher - calligraphy can muddle readability, especially for younger readers, but his lettering is simple yet still full of personality.

The Little Yellow Digger ABC is a lovely little homage to the original story. Many of the original readers of the original books are now parents themselves. This new book allows parents to introduce their own children to this much-loved series.

Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser

Scholastic, RRP$19.99


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