Bulldozer Helps Out came about, in part, because the characters from Bulldozer’s Big Day stayed with me; they charmed me. I’d gotten to know them in the first book, and felt there were more adventures to be told. I really wanted to find out what would happen next in Bulldozer’s life.
Sequels, however, are always hard because they have to be better than the first book, or at least different enough to distinguish themselves. And I certainly didn’t want to repeat myself.
Then I hit upon the idea of Bulldozer being too little to join his truck family in the rough, tough work of the construction site. As the former mother of little boys, I clearly remember the frustration my guys experienced when they couldn’t help paint the bedroom, or cut up carrots. “I’m big enough!” they’d cry. “I can do it!” As so does Bulldozer.
Worn out by my little ones’ pleas, I would eventually find some way for them to help out—stirring the paint, washing the carrots. And so does Bulldozer’s truck family. Like me, they give him a small job, away from the dangerous work. They believe he can manage it.
I don’t want to give it away, but the story has some surprises not typically found in books with construction truck characters. This was purposeful. I wanted to break away from the tropes a bit. I wanted kids to see themselves in Bulldozer. After all, he might be a truck, but he’s got the heart and mind of a Kindergartener. And like all Kindergarteners, he wants to help the grownups in his life (who, in this case, just happen to be bigger trucks). Will he succeed? The conclusion, I hope, is both sweet and satisfying. And little Bulldozer? He ends up with the roughest, toughest job of them all … taking care of little ones.