See Me Dig

illus. by author. 32p. (I Like To Read). Holiday House. 2013. RTE $14.95. ISBN 978-0-8234-2743-7.
PreS-Gr 1—The dogs from See Me Run (Holiday House, 2011) return in another charming early reader. Led by a golden retriever, the canines eagerly dig up a forest, only to be forcibly ejected by irate woodland inhabitants. They then commence to wreak havoc on a nearby beach where they unearth a treasure chest. Despite relying upon a straightforward narrative, Meisel still infuses the plot with fun and whimsy: the dogs find themselves chased out by the disgruntled ghosts of pirates who buried the treasure, and the story ends with the animals finding a friend in a fellow digger, a bulldozer. Short, easy-to-parse sentences ("See me dig," "We dig and dig and dig,"); large readable print; and repeated words make this an ideal choice to build confidence in budding young readers. Rendered in a combination of pen-and-ink, acrylic, pencil, and watercolor, the cartoonlike illustrations are filled with movement and animation, and the use of action lines (such as wagging tails or digging paws) adds to the energetic tone. Pairing these amusingly detailed images with an understated, pared-down text (a spread of foxes, bears, and squirrels glaring irritably at the crestfallen canines is described simply as "Oh no! They are mad.") produces hilarious results. These well-intentioned but mischievous dogs are truly winsome characters; their wide-eyed expressions, furrowed brows, and lolling tongues will readily endear them to children. A must-have for novice readers.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

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