Dirtball Pete [NOOK Book]

Overview

A hilarious read-aloud picture book for boys and girls who just can’t seem to stay clean! (And the parents who love their little dirtballs regardless.)
 
It’s a fact. Dirtball Pete stinks to high heaven.
 
His sister, Amanda, says so, and her friend Janine totally agrees. Even with a good scrubbing from his mom, Dirtball Pete ...
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Overview

A hilarious read-aloud picture book for boys and girls who just can’t seem to stay clean! (And the parents who love their little dirtballs regardless.)
 
It’s a fact. Dirtball Pete stinks to high heaven.
 
His sister, Amanda, says so, and her friend Janine totally agrees. Even with a good scrubbing from his mom, Dirtball Pete usually manages to revert to his dirtball self in no time. But today is no ordinary day—it’s THE FIFTY STATES AND WHY THEY’RE GREAT! day at school, and Dirtball Pete has a speech to recite in the school play.
 
Will he remember his lines? Will he manage to avoid his dog’s muddy paws? Will the stink of his pet ferret, Eggroll, cling to his Pennsylvania costume? And can Dirtball Pete make his mom proud even if he is a dirtball?
 
Eileen Brennan’s funny picture book has a refreshingly original voice and style and a lovable new character in Dirtball Pete, who, with his unassuming, carefree ways, will charm kids and adults alike.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Debut writer Brennan’s wonderfully stolid narrative voice establishes its authority from the get-go: “Dirtball Pete looked like something the cat dragged in,” it starts. “It was a fact.” Pete’s stay in the bathtub before his school’s “Fifty States and Why They’re Great” presentation is a long one (“I’m going to leave that auditorium proud of you,” his mother says grimly, scrubbing him with a brush), but, mysteriously, he still smells terrible afterwards. “Oh, no!” his mother says. “Pet ferrets must stay home!” Jittery digital cartoons show Pete with a big head, spindly appendages, scrabbly hair that refuses to be tamed, and tic-tac-toe dirt stains spattered liberally across his mug. Unexpectedly, though, Dirtball Pete outdoes himself at school that night. He’s the best Pennsylvania ever--broadcasting facts about the state while the rest of his cardboard-clad classmates whisper and mumble--despite the fact that an unexpected search for his speech leaves him looking like his usual dirtball self. It’s tough to make a book sardonic and heartwarming at the same time, but Brennan nails it. Ages 4-7. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, July 26, 2010:
"Debut writer Brennan’s wonderfully stolid narrative voice establishes its authority from the get-go. . .It’s tough to make a book sardonic and heartwarming at the same time, but Brennan nails it."
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
It's "The Fifty States and Why They Are Great! Day" at Dirtball Pete's school. Pete's mother is determined that her filthy smelly son will get clean and stay clean so she can be proud of him. He manages to arrive that way at school in his Pennsylvania costume. Unfortunately, after chasing his blown-away speech through a sprinkler and into a trashcan, Pete is Dirtball again. When he comes on stage, his mother despairs at his appearance. But when he gives his speech so beautifully, she and all the audience agree that "...underneath all that dirt, there was a very special boy." On the front jacket/cover, Pete's portrait makes his name clear. A child nearby holding her nose adds clarity. On the back, we see his mother's rubber-gloved hands holding brush and scrubber for the clean-up. The front end pages display a miscellaneous collection of junk plus a bare branch stuck in dirt. Footprints starting on the jacket/cover continue across these pages and take us to the title page. The following pages introduce the characters and visualize the simple events. Cartoon-y black line drawings fleshed out with paints depict the transformations, first from the messy boy to the clean one, and then back to the natural condition. On the back end pages, the footprints go past a tie hung on the tree as Pete disappears in the distance. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 3—Dirtball Pete is a nice kid who can't help getting messy and stinky. When it's time for him to perform in THE FIFTY STATES AND WHY THEY'RE GREAT! day at school, his mom scrubs him down, dresses him up, and tells him to make her proud. Inevitably, Pete gets filthy while chasing down his blown-away notes, but his confident performance in the show makes his mom proud anyway. This is a pleasant little lesson in not judging a book by its cover, with the didacticism mostly offset by the quirky storytelling and illustrations. The almost-adult humor is layered into the chipper text, with lines like "no one can tell the wind what to do—not a kite, not a sailboat, not a businessman's toupee." The cartoon illustrations look like the Peanuts gang on caffeine: short children with large heads, but with a more kinetic energy than the work of Charles Schulz (Pete's similarity to Pigpen enhances this impression). The message is timeless, the setting modern, with Pete's multicultural class and the parents snapping photos with their phones. One old-fashioned element of the story may bother safety-conscious adults: due to his bulky Pennsylvania costume, Pete rides loose in the back of the station wagon. This story would be useful to support character-education topics like respect, judging others, self-esteem, and so on.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449811221
  • Publisher: RH Childrens Books
  • Publication date: 6/27/2012
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Sales rank: 1,054,948
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • File size: 9 MB

Meet the Author

Eileen Brennan lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she thoroughly enjoys getting her hands dirty. This is her first picture book.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 17, 2010

    Our book of the year! A must buy!

    First borrowed from the library, I am finally buying this book. I have read Dirtball Pete every night for the past month and a half. My son (a bit of a Dirtball Pete himself) and I both love it. DP's mum says at the end "and everyone DID hear and see what a wonderful boy Dirtball Pete was under all that dirt". And then we hug. Enough said. I never write reviews, but I hope Elieen Brennan makes a mint off of this marvelous book.

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