A kid entrepreneur sells dirt to finance a snazzy new soccer ball.
An interactive narrator introduces and talks with Birdie, a youngster peering at a newspaper through oversized yellow spectacles. When the narrator asks what Birdie is looking at, the kid flips the paper around to show an ad for the XR1000 Super Extreme Soccer Ball. Short the $24.95 needed to purchase the “beautiful” ball, Birdie takes the narrator’s recommendation that a yard sale may garner the necessary funds. The yard sale turns out to be a bad business model (low market demand) so Birdie brainstorms something else: a literal yard sale. Birdie starts selling dirt from the yard for 25 bucks a sack. Still no customers. When Birdie marks down the price to 25 cents—and starts advertising “dirt cheap cheap dirt”—the coins finally roll in. Birdie uses the hard-earned money to buy the soccer ball. But what use is the ball if there is no longer a lawn to play soccer on? Hoffmann cleverly intertwines early math skills with messages of working toward goals and problem-solving. Readers will learn alongside Birdie different ways to add up change. Birdie’s approachable, can-do attitude plays well off the narrator-knows-best tone to create some genuine comedy. The gently absurd illustrations offer a lush suburban landscape, expressive scenes, and racially diverse neighbors; Birdie has pale skin and black pigtails.
Worth it, dirt and all. (Picture book. 4-8)