Diamond Jim Dandy and the Sheriff

Diamond Jim Dandy and the Sheriff

By: Sarah Burell
Illustrated by: Bryan Langdo
Publisher: Sterling 
Publication Date: April 2010 
ISBN: 978-1402757372 
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 2010 

Mind you, there are boring towns and there are B-O-R-I-N-G towns and you could count Dustpan, Texas right up there in those capital letters. In a town where snoozing was everyone’s favorite pastime the town sheriff decided he’d better “take up babysitting just to pass the time” or he’d be joining the rest of the town. One day when the sheriff was rocking Idie Mae Tumbleweed on the porch a great big, beady-eyed rattler came wiggling and waggling past the porch. The sheriff’s eyes widened, he grabbed the rim of his hat and yelled, “Holey Buckets!” He soon told that snake to skedaddle his way out of town ‘cause he wasn’t welcome.

The snake was sad, but went on his way. Before long there was a big ruckus in Dustpan. The rattler was busy entertaining the menfolk at Earl’s Feed Store by tying himself “into one fancy knot after another.” Next thing you know that snake was entertaining the Dustpan Ladies Sewing Circle. Every time the sheriff had to tend to Idie Mae, that snake would slither off to entertain some other people in town. The kids were all excited and all “twenty-seven kids zigzagged back and forth behind him,” much to the sheriff’s dismay. Come what may, Dustpan’s sheriff was going to drive that rascally rattler out of town. Was there anything that the townsfolk could do to change his mind? Was the town of Dustpan going to go back to snoozing their days away?

This is one madcap tale about a talented Texan rattler that will make you roll your eyes and give your youngster a case of the giggles. Naturally, all Texans are going to love this story, but even people from Maine will fall in love with the town of Dustpan. The artwork had those subtle little humorous touches that may be beyond the younger set reading the story, but the adult set will chuckle at. For example, when the sheriff had to leave to change Idie Mae’s diaper, his eyes widened and he held his nose.

Quill says: If you are in the mood for a zany wild-west tale, you’ve come to the right place!

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