Deputy Dorkface -- How Stinkville Got Cleaned Up. Kevin D. Janison (Author), Eldon Doty (Illustrator) (32 pages, August 2007). Taylor and Colin, out for a ride one day in the Mojave Desert, come upon a strange sight -- the sinkometer of the small town of Stinkville. Undeterred by the day's stink reading (off the charts), the kids ride into town, a town where no one has bathed for weeks and weeks (possibly longer). The reader learns the awful story behind the stink of the townsfolk in a flashback; Taylor and Colin simply see the present situation--that Deputy Dorkface, about to throw them in jail for trespassing, needs a bath. Through brute force, they force him into the water, the other townsfolk jump in too, and Stinkville is clean again.
It's supposedly for ages 9-12, but I think it works better as a read aloud for the 5-7/8 crowd, or as a step up from an Early Reader. The illustrations are cartoonish, the humor is basically the one stinky situation (plus the name "Deputy Dorkface," which seems to amuse the young) and the plot has to be taken with a few grains of salt. It's not to my taste, but I've read it three times this week to my 7 year old.
Being part of a family seems to entail reading books that don't personally appeal. At my husband's enthusiastic urging (before he became my husband), I read The Ragged Trousered Phillanthropists (painfully), only to find out he'd never read it himself. And yesterday I was returning books to the library, including two Captain Underpants books. "Oh," said our children's librarian, "You're letting your son read those?" "Reading them to him." I said ruefully. "Good for you," she said, being a strong suscriber to the let them read anything as long as they are reading school of thought. For me,Deputy Dorkface falls into this catagory.
I got my copy from the publisher (Stephens Press); I'll be passing it on to the library, so that it can be enjoyed by other children...
at 1:03 PM