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Dinkin Dings: and the Frightening Things Paperback – 1 Mar 2009
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About the Author
Guy Bass has worked as a theatre producer and writer. He has written plays for both adults and children as well as acting his way out of several paper bags. He is currently working on his first two children's books series. Guy lives in London with his wife, and no dog, yet.
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Well, the author does a lot with the premise. Mom and Dad are pretty patient, but still a bit befuddled by Dinkin's fears. Dinkin makes lists of all kinds of things - what he's afraid of, how to protect himself, what to do if there's a zombie apocalypse, and that sort of thing. The lists are funny and add variety to the narrative. The three scary friends have fairly distinct personalities and there is a lot of jokey byplay among and between those characters. Dinkin is the leader of this pack, so he isn't a totally lame and exasperating character.
But once you get through all of that you still need some kind of plot to move you through the story. In this one a new neighbor girl has arrived in the neighborhood, and while she looks O.K. Dinkin is pretty darn convinced she's a zombie in disguise. NO SPOILERS, but that ends up being developed enough to get us through to a satisfying ending.
When you realize that this book is aimed at a third grade or so crowd, it all makes sense. You have an engaging hero, in a sort of manic/nutsy style. You have monsters. You have some gross stuff. You have enough of a plot. You have some funny lines, and some subtle jokes for slightly more advanced readers. (This also isn't all farts/boogers. The setup is actually pretty sophisticated, and skewed in a way kids can appreciate.)
I can see where this book would fit in between early chapter books and more advanced fantasy/horror/adventure. It's not really scary and the story's not complicated, but the vocabulary, the sentence structure, and even the type of humor seem a bit beyond what I think of as chapter books. It seems to me you can't have too many choices for this range of readers, and this series certainly offers itself as one more good option.
Please note that I found this book while browsing the local library's Kindle books, and downloaded it for free. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
The storys are excellent, both funny and smart.it would be difficult to imagine a more perfect set of books for an eight year old.
I cant recommend these books highly enough and wish there were more like them.
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