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Dirt Boy Paperback – January 1, 2000
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2-Fister Farnello loves dirt. One day he escapes his bath and runs into the woods where he meets a giant named Dirt Man, and the two become instant friends. They spend days playing until Fister becomes so filthy that even his own mother does not recognize him. Even the birds and mice that have taken up residence in his hair begin to complain. When moss appears in his bellybutton and a thick green cloud of stink comes out of his mouth instead of words, Dirt Boy can't take it anymore. He runs through the woods and back to his house. At first, his mother thinks he is a monster, but when she sprays him with a hose, "the faint shape of a certain long-lost boy" is revealed. "It took twenty-three bars of soap, sixteen bottles of shampoo, one hundred and seventy-nine gallons of bathwater, forty-four million bubbles, and eleven tubes of toothpaste to finally get Fister Farnello clean." This is a witty fantasy about a topic with which children are quite familiar. The bright, bold watercolor-and-gouache illustrations in various shades of green and brown capture the essence of filth. In addition, Manders used "acrylic paint, crackle medium, modeling paste, colored pencils, sponges, fingers, and old toothbrushes" to create Dirt Boy. Wacky depictions of filthy Fister and the giant will amuse children. An engaging tale appropriate for reading aloud.
Olga R. Barnes, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, NC
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The squishy delight of wallowing in mud and mess is the elemental appeal for young preschoolers in this mucky picture book. Fister escapes authority, his "clean-and-mean mother" who tries to force him into the bath. He runs away to the woods, where he finds a home in the bellybutton of a giant, who hasn't taken a bath in a thousand years. They play dirt games. When birds nest in Fister's hair and mice snuggle on his body, he begins to feel icky and slimy, and when the giant begins to use the word delicious, Fister runs home to mother, who scrubs and scrubs him deliciously clean. The pictures--in watercolor and gouache--glory in the dirt. There are close-ups of the giant's teeth covered in green gunk, of mushrooms sprouting from the boy's toes, and of Fister's stinky breath blowing out in a thick, green cloud. The story stays true to the slapstick fun of getting dirty, even as it admits to the coziness and comfort of being clean. Hazel Rochman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.