DIRT CHEAP by Mark Hoffmann

DIRT CHEAP

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

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)

Pub Date: April 21st, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-5247-1994-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2020




MORE BY MARK HOFFMANN

ChildrenEXPLOSION AT THE POEM FACTORY by Kyle Lukoff
by Kyle Lukoff
ChildrenHAWKS KETTLE, PUFFINS WHEEL by Susan Vande Griek
by Susan Vande Griek
ChildrenPOOP by Poppy Champignon
by Poppy Champignon