cover image Trashy Town

Trashy Town

Dan Yaccarino, David Clemesha, Andrea Griffing Zimmerman. HarperCollins, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-027139-8

Zimmerman and Clemesha, authors of The Cow Buzzed, give a cleaned-up account of sanitation work. Mr. Gilly is a trash collector and has the enviable task of driving a big blue truck. Accompanied by two tidy, pale-gray rats, Mr. Gilly gathers garbage from the school, the park and the pizza parlor. Each stop is followed by the refrain: Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy Town! (the type is set into a neat black side bar at the right of each spread). Theres nary an overfull can or torn garbage bag in sight, and by the end, Mr. Gilly has cleaned up the whole town! He takes his load to the dump, then goes home for a bath. Despite the smelly and slimy aspects of garbage collecting, Zimmerman and Clemesha make Mr. Gillys job seem satisfying. If they oversimplify, they also dignify the works human component. Like the authors, Yaccarino (Circle Dogs) also makes the work look manageable. His rectangular silhouettes of urban buildings and stylized alleys appear in unadulterated shades of sapphire blue and deep red. He pictures items of litterbanana peels, pizza slices, empty bottles and cansas sleek icons, giving no indication of dirt or decay; Mr. Gillys ochre jumpsuit and blue plaid shirt remain unsullied. This overwhelmingly positive day-in-the-life gives an overdue salute to an unsung hero, and transforms Trashy Town into a tidy town. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)