Dig Here (David Miles)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Dig Here, written by David Miles and illustrated by Olga Zakharova, a delightfully ridiculous treasure hunt tale.

A tenacious seafarer (self-described as the “fiercest pirate in the world”) and his trusty four-legged first mate embark on a quest to retrieve a treasure of rubies and gold that the pirate has hidden away underground (“that is what fierce pirates do”). However, their endeavor quickly becomes complicated when the booty is not… exactly in the same spot that the pirate is 100% positive he left it in. Still, the pirate is not deterred, and will brave underground tunnels, aching muscles, and sleepiness to find his missing treasure… or will he?

Silly swashbuckling fun. Combining a colorful central character with equally vibrant artwork and charmingly absurd dialogue, this one is a treat for young readers. With the text addressing the audience and a clever use of cutouts to tease the climax of the plot, the book becomes interactive in ways that encourage kids to laugh along at the pirate’s antics while also creating opportunities to guess where the story may be headed next (Note: the cutouts are made of paper and not cardboard, so the book’s construction may not hold up to very small bookworms). The length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ was rolling at the pirate’s missteps and nautical colloquialisms. Overall, a fun ride for any age, and we recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

How To Find Gold (Viviane Schwarz)

Hello friends! Today, we read How To Find Gold by Viviane Schwarz, a cute little tale about a girl, her crocodile, and a hidden treasure.

Anna and her crocodile friend decide that they want to do something dangerous and difficult. “Let’s find gold!” suggests Anna, and they set about preparing to find gold. First, they practice their secret-keeping faces, then Anna decides that she is strong enough by lifting Crocodile. They know they need a map with an X, so they draw one. They set off in their boat and spot a scary storm on the horizon, and sail straight in! Will the friends find their gold?

This was a really cute book with two great messages: all things are possible with imagination, and don’t be afraid of the dangerous or difficult, especially if you have a good friend beside you (I especially loved that a female protagonist was embodying this message, and a POC at that). The book is also a lot of fun to read: the nonsensical and deliberately illogical conversations definitely feel like they come from the mind of a child, and are quite funny. The illustrations are sweet, then magical, then sweet again in turn. Our only issue was that it was starting to border on too long for a one-year-old, but JJ still sat through the book without too much wiggling, and slightly older kids definitely would. Baby Bookworm approved!