Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Discount Toothpaste

I had the intriguing experience recently of reading a children's book--not a picture book, a middle grade chapter book--that my husband had just read. He doesn't usually read all the YA and kids' stuff that I do--except the picture books we read to the baby, of course.

Anyway, it was a book that he had found at the library because he remembered it from childhood--The Toothpaste Millionaire, by Jean Merrill. It's about a kid who realizes that toothpaste costs too much, and that you can make it at home for about two cents a tube. So he makes it, and sells it, and everyone buys it, and the operation grows till he's running a big company.

It was kind of awesome. It was a little clunky, with a lot of math, and the story kind of goes off the rails at the end as he begins running other toothpaste companies out of business, but in general, most of the story is just about how hard work and a good business head will get you far in this world. It's a big how-to book, and there's nothing as much fun as a story full of how-to.

Mike, on the other hand, put it down halfway through. He found it boring. I asked, "Well, did you get to the part where his friend goes to an auction and buys 50 gross of empty tubes, but she doesn't know how much a gross in and thinks she has 50 dozen instead of like 7000 and they have to find a machine to fill them?"

Yes. Yes, he did.

"How could you put it down there? That's the most exciting bit!"

Apparently, books written for 10-year-olds are an acquired taste. If you love them, though, this book is kind of fun.

1 comment:

Linden said...

I remember that book so well! I think that one of my babysitters had it and I remember reading it and loving it, although I'm not sure at what age... I will have to see if our library has a copy.