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Diamond Jim Dandy Is The Friendliest Rattlesnake in the West

February 25, 2010

Diamond Jim Dandy and the Sheriff
Written by Sarah Burell, Illustrated by Bryan Langdo
Sterling Publishing 2010
Picture Book

Rattlesnakes scare me!  Don’t they scare everyone?  No, not the townfolks in Diamond Jim Dandy and the Sheriff.
Before the rattlesnake arrived in town, life in Dustpan was so dull that the sheriff babysat to pass the time.  When a diamondback rattlesnake slithered into town, the sleepy town woke up.  That rattler entertained the menfolk with fancy knots and gave the kid zigzag rides in the school yard.
But, not everyone was charmed by the rattlesnake.  The sheriff was down right irritated.

“It’s against the Law of the West, shouted the sheriff.  “Folks aren’t supposed to like rattlers – even friendly ones.”

“But, he’s entertaining,” cried the menfolk.
“He’s inspiring,” said the ladies.
“He’s our friend,” shouted the kids.”

However, the sheriff wouldn’t be swayed.  He escorted the rattlesnake to the edge of town when suddenly, Mrs. Tumbleweed noticed that her baby, Idie Mae, was missing! (Now those townfolks WERE scared.)

Just wait until you see who saved little Idie Mae and become the new Dustpan deputy.  Perhaps, like me, you’ll be charmed by the rattlesnake who earned the new name, Diamond Jim Dandy.
This was an endearing story of acceptance, friendship and community with a Texan flavor.  Artist, Bryan Langdo, skillfully illustrated the dusty Western town and townspeople with it’s dirt roads, wooden sidewalks, long skirted women and cowboy hat wearing, babysitting sheriff.  My kids asked to read Diamond Jim Dandy over and over – which gave me a great chance to practice my Texas accent . . . y’all.

Book Play:
Dustpan’s Sheriff is full of colorful Texas expressions like, Jim Dandy (excellent,) dadgum it (darn it,) and pleased as punch (happy.)  What other fun expressions can you and the kids think of?  Can y’all talk like the Texas sheriff?

Then, make your own imaginary Texas town with a sheriff, a deputy and townspeople. Pretend you’re someone in the story or invent your own wild West story.

WIN a copy of Diamond Jim Dandy and the Sheriff! E-mail your name to with “Diamond Jim Dandy” in the subject line. We will randomly select one lucky winner to receive a copy of the book. Deadline for entry is midnight MST on March 31, 2010.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 25, 2012 5:02 pm

    Looking forward to reading more. Great blog.Really thank you! Fantastic.

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