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Trashy Town Hardcover – February 27, 1999

91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Zimmerman and Clemesha, authors of The Cow Buzzed, give a cleaned-up account of sanitation work. Mr. Gilly is a trash collector and has the enviable task of driving a big blue truck. Accompanied by two tidy, pale-gray rats, Mr. Gilly gathers garbage from the school, the park and the pizza parlor. Each stop is followed by the refrain: Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy Town! (the type is set into a neat black side bar at the right of each spread). Theres nary an overfull can or torn garbage bag in sight, and by the end, Mr. Gilly has cleaned up the whole town! He takes his load to the dump, then goes home for a bath. Despite the smelly and slimy aspects of garbage collecting, Zimmerman and Clemesha make Mr. Gillys job seem satisfying. If they oversimplify, they also dignify the works human component. Like the authors, Yaccarino (Circle Dogs) also makes the work look manageable. His rectangular silhouettes of urban buildings and stylized alleys appear in unadulterated shades of sapphire blue and deep red. He pictures items of litterbanana peels, pizza slices, empty bottles and cansas sleek icons, giving no indication of dirt or decay; Mr. Gillys ochre jumpsuit and blue plaid shirt remain unsullied. This overwhelmingly positive day-in-the-life gives an overdue salute to an unsung hero, and transforms Trashy Town into a tidy town. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K-This jaunty look at garbage collection makes a backbreaking job look like fun. Yaccarino's illustrations are appealingly childlike and have a slightly retro look. They show a brightly colored, if somewhat messy, town-definitely in need of the trash collector's cheerful care. Simple shapes and minimal detail suggest various locations (the school, the park, the pizza parlor) but keep the focus squarely on Mr. Gilly as he goes about his appointed rounds. At the same time, two small rodents appear in each double-page spread, providing continuity as they introduce a playful element to the story. The repetitive, rhythmic text makes it easy for children to chime in. Preschoolers will especially appreciate the refrain, "Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy Town! Is the trash truck full yet? NO." Like the pictures, the type has a solid, almost blocky appearance; it is easy to read and contributes to the book's design. Entertaining enough to be read just for fun, this simple selection will also appeal to teachers looking for stories about community helpers.
Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 230L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (February 27, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060271396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060271398
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrea Zimmerman was born in Ohio and grew up in New York and California. She received a degree in Fine Arts for Children and later went back to school and became a dentist. She has three grown sons and lives in Southern California. She enjoys going to museums, gardening, and traveling. Together with her husband, David Clemesha, she writes and illustrates picture books.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When you're a children's librarian that has to perform multiple storytimes every week, you acquire a kind of ear for picture books that read aloud well. For example, reading aloud "Horton Hatches the Egg" works well for a single child, but for a large group it's just too darn long. And unless you have a real rhythm going with "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom", don't try to perform it just off the top of your head. Then there are books like Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha's delicious, "Trashy Town". Combining a jaunty rhythmic story about a trash man on the job with the overly accomplished Dan Yaccarino's illustrations, "Trashy Town" falls into the category of "godsend" when it comes to books for big groups o' kiddies.

Mr. Gilly has a swell job. He's the trash man doing the route around his Trashy Town. With a perpetual look of benign happiness set on his face, Mr. Gilly visits the local school, the park, the pizza parlor, and even the doctor's office. Each time he collects some trash the text reads, "Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy Town! Is the trash truck full yet? NO". Reading this book aloud, kids can yell, "NO!" when they get to this part. Eventually, however, Mr. Gilly has finished for the day. The town is clean, the trash is deposited at the dump, and when Mr. Gilly gets home there's only one more thing to clean up. "Time for a bath, Mr. Gilly!".

Mr. Yaccarino has a signature style that has yet to be replicated by any illustrator out there. He's probably best known for being responsible, in part, for the picture book "Oswald", later turned into a Nick Jr. television show. In this book he fills the pages with simplified, almost retro images. These pictures are remarkably simple but convey the story beautifully. Likewise, the text is catchy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Evan's mom on March 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Trashy Town is my three-year-old son's favorite book. Evan loves to read along as Mr. Gilly, the garbage man travels around town, stopping at all the cool places to empty the trash into his big trash truck. With it's simple, repetative verse, Evan quickly was able to identify many of the words in the text and before long was "reading" the story to me. We've read it so much, that Evan now has it memorized and can literally recite it and I often hear him doing so at night in the darkness of his bedroom. Even so, niether of us have grown bored of this delightful story as we have with so many other books. These days,Evan often embellishes the story, such as "Mr. Gilly goes home . . . and makes dinner!" "Mr. Gilly stops to fix the broken swings in the park." Trashy town also inspires creative (and constructive) play. Evan dons his "heavy gloves" -- my gardening gloves, socks, whatever's handy -- and sets out to clean up his own trashy town, the playroom. It's a good read before bathtime as well, since it ends with Mr. Gilly taking a bath. As wonderful as the story is, the best part of the book is Dan Yaccarino's magical illustrations. I bought this book sight unseen based soley on his name. We already had several books illustrated and/or written by this incredibly talented artist. His vivid pictures appeal to both child and parent. Evan sees himself in every portrait. I recommend this book for any child who rises early on collection day to catch a glimpse of the garbage truck. It's not just for little kids. My five year old nephew loves it too!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Daniel L Edelen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
About the best thing to be said about any children's book is that your children ask for it to be read over and over again.
From the moment I brought "Trashy Town" home, my three year old son could not get enough of it. The repetitive, but clever text by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha begs for the kids to interact with trash collector Mr. Gilly as he cheerfully makes his appointed rounds about the trashy town. And for parents, this book lets you run with the sing-song quality of the text and make this a fun read.
But the story would be only a story without the minimalist illustrations of Dan Yaccarino (of TV's "Oswald" the Octopus fame on Nick Jr.) Yaccarino captures the dirty work with his signature painting style, giving "Trashy Town" a bold graphic look that youngsters love.
An absolutely perfect book for the under five crowd.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pam - because someone has to be GOOD TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
One of the things that early childhood educators say is important for young children is to be exposed to poems and other rhythmic literature. And it is, they tell us, helpful for kids to learn to recite. It is for these and other reasons that I really, really like this book. Not only is the artwork fun and `cleanly' charming, but the topic is interesting to children and the words are just repetitive enough to make it a great read... and a great recite!

For example, we will be out fooling around in the yard and someone will simply yell, "Is the trash truck full yet?" and the rest of us (including hubby) will shout yes or no; and then we will be off reciting the whole piece. What better evidence than that and the constant calls for `again, again' can you provide to prove that a book is good.

Note: The other commentator was correct. I think that the age ranges are incorrect. I would think 6 and under would be more appropriate.
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