Usha and the Big Digger is a delightful picture book by Amitha Jagannath Knight. Though it is meant for 3–6-year-old children, I had a lot of fun reading it. So, I guess, this book is not just for kids!
It’s the story of a little American-Indian child Usha who loves playing with trucks. She wants to cartwheel, and doesn’t give up despite failing innumerable times. At night, Usha and her sister Aarti are lying on the grass under the star-lit sly, but both see different things when they look at the twinkling stars. To Aarti, the group of stars is Big Dipper; while in Usha’s eyes they are nothing but the Big Digger. Things turn interesting when their cousin Gloria arrives with a brand-new truck for Usha. It baffled Usha and Aarti when the same group of stars look like a kite to Gloria. It upsets Usha when others cannot see the Big Digger, but thankfully she is able to resolve their argument and the three girls are happy once again.
It’s impossible to not fall in love with this book. Usha is an adorable child, and her attempts at trying to master at cartwheel are delightful. Sandhya Prabhat’s illustrations are cute, diverse and inclusive. The limited texts make it easier for children to understand without losing interest.
This is a wonderful resource to introduce the concept of spatial reasoning, numbers, shapes and orientation to small children. It also sends across the message of appreciating other’s perspectives and teaches children that our perceptions vary depending on our position. The sibling relationship and familial ties comes across beautifully.
There are activities at the end encouraging children to explore math and understand spatial concepts in a fun manner.
I absolutely adored Usha and the Big Digger and would recommend it wholeheartedly!
Wordsopedia Rating 5/5
|Title: Usha and the Big Digger||Author: Amitha Jagannath Knight|
|Publisher: Charlesbridge||Publication date: August 3, 2021|
|Genre: Fiction – Children’s Literature||Format: Paperback|
|ISBN: 978-1623542016||No. of Pages: 32|
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About the Author
Dr. Amitha Jagannath Knight is a graduate of MIT and Tufts University School of Medicine. She is also a former social media manager for We Need Diverse Books. In 2012, she won the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award.
While her parents were originally from South India, she and her siblings (including her identical twin!) were born in the United States.
Dr. Knight has lived in Texas and Arkansas, and now lives in Massachusetts with her one husband, two children, and two cats.
Get in touch with the author on her website.