Monday, May 06, 2013

Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe by Tim Myers & Macky Pamintuan and a little Malarkey

Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe by Tim Myers
Illustrated by Macky Pamintuan
Copyright 2013
Sterling Children's - Picture Book (Ages 4-7)
40 pp.

Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe is a cute take on the dinosaur storybook in which children run a dinosaur wash . . . like a specialty car wash, only bigger.  

How's a dinosaur supposed to stay clean in the city?
We soap 'em, scrub 'em, then send 'em down the line for rinsing and drying.  
But this job's no picnic -- you gotta know the customers!  No two dinos are alike, and they all need scrub-a-dubbing.

The children wash the knobs and spikes on an Ankylosaurus and scrub the frills and horns on Styracosaurus.  One of the dinosaurs warns the narrator, the little boy shown in a yellow jumpsuit, that Tyrannosaurus Rex is in town.  The children are nervous, but they haven't got the time to sit around worrying.  They scrub a variety of other dinosaurs.  And, then one day the T. Rex shows up.  As it turns out, Tyrannosaurus Rex plays at being intimidating but he really is a little nervous about getting cleaned because he's afraid soap will get in his eyes.

The unnamed boy assures T. Rex that they're very careful. T. Rex gets a nice scrubbing, then behaves himself when he becomes a return customer.  Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe closes with the little boy saying maybe if he plays his cards right, he'll get a ride from a winged dinosaur someday. And, then the author tosses in the usual educational section.

I liked Down at the Dino Wash but didn't love it, possibly because I've seen a few too many dinosaur books, over the years, and would like to see authors branch out to broader topics on geology and the changes in earth over time with equal entertainment value.  Dinosaurs have been so completely done to death that it's a rare book about dinosaurs that will sway me, these days. 1-2-3 Dinosaurs Bite is a personal favorite.

The best thing about Down at the Dino Wash is the vibrant illustrations with very likable expressions on the dinosaurs' faces.  The storyline is unique but I prefer real words, fully written out and grammatically correct ("you've got to", not "you gotta"), unless there's some overwhelming reason that text should be linguistically altered, as in the case of a pirate book with appropriate slang.  I'll admit the language put me off.

Recommended particularly for dinosaur-crazed children with a grammatically-tolerant parent or guardian.  I wouldn't hunt down a copy of Down at the Dino Wash for the educational material, which is limited and typical, but for the gorgeous illustrations and silly storyline.  When my children were small, I occasionally marked out and replaced poor grammar in their books.  Fortunately, this was not a problem I came across often but I would have personally been hesitant to purchase this particular book when my children were small, knowing I'd feel obligated to alter it.

And a bit of malarkey:

Last week was a very slow reading week but over the weekend (if the weekend includes early Monday morning), I managed to finish reading two books - If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin and Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh.  I enjoyed both for entirely different reasons.


Only one book arrived the entire week and then today the postman suddenly decided to gift me so I ended up with a nice little windfall of 4 books:

  • Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence by David Samuel Levinson - unsolicited from Algonquin Books and seriously tempting me.  I haven't started a new book, yet, but I stuck Antonia Lively in my purse to use as my Emergency Book when I ran errands, earlier today.  
  • The Keeper of Secrets by Julie Thomas - from HarperCollins for review
  • A Half Forgotten Song by Katherine Webb - from HarperCollins for review
  • The NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women - from Zondervan for tour/review 

I also got a copy of Sunshine by Alex Garland from Paperback Swap, recently, but was a little surprised and disappointed to find that it's not a novel but a screenplay.  Near as I can tell, there is no novel. I do read screenplays; I was just hoping to read another novel by Alex Garland (I read the super-weird Coma, a few years back).  Looks like I'll have to go a bit farther back in publishing time and locate a copy of The Beach or The Tesseract.

I've been expecting an ARC of Caroline Leavitt's new book, Is This Tomorrow, but at this point I'm pretty much convinced it's become lost in the mail.  [huge, heaving sigh]  I'm saving my book-purchase pennies to use on vacation so I can't rush out and buy a copy, at the moment, but I would if I could.

Do you keep an Emergency Book in your car, desk or bag?

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