Don't Dig So Deep, Nicholas!


32 pages
ISBN 1-895688-60-4
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Gary Clement
Reviewed by Deborah Dowson

Deborah Dowson is a children’s librarian in Caledon East, Ontario.


Don’t Dig So Deep, Nicholas! is imaginative, fresh, and full of
delight. The illustrations are a little wacky, as is the premise of the
story. Nicholas starts to dig a hole on the beach and is warned not to
dig too deep or he’ll go through to Australia. Digging to the other
side of the world is a captivating idea for children, and it is
wonderfully funny to imagine it actually happening.

Amazing Australian animals come leaping and flying out of the hole as
Nicholas continues to dig. The descriptions of the animals are

catchy and evocative. For example, there is a “cinnamon-colored dingo
dog with golden eyes and a tongue like pink ham.” There is amusement
galore as the animals create a cacophony of sound and a chaos of

The art and text (of varying type sizes) are exceptionally well
integrated, sharing and conveying a style of amusing detail and zany

All of the noise and confusion created by the animals subsides at
sunset as they return to the hole and Nicholas fills it in. All that is
left are the footprints on the beach and the amusing experience to
recall. At the very end, the reader is given a brief description of some
of the characteristics of the animals that appeared in the book. Highly


Harrison, Troon., “Don't Dig So Deep, Nicholas!,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 28, 2024,