Skip to main content

The Butt Book written by Artie Bennett and illustrated by Mike Lester




I am a firm believer that there is a book that can address any issue, any concern, any dilemma.  Books can show, books can teach and books can help kids to understand the way the world works.  When I had my first child, I couldn't wait to buy Taro Gomi's essential Everyone Poops.    While there isn't too much that needs to be learned about the subject, Artie Bennett's The Butt Book does do the service of showing kids that everyone has one, what the various names for it are and what it is good for.  I know that this word is off limits in many home and considered crass by others, but in my house it is the most expedient way of getting to the bottom of the issue, no pun intended.  And, knowing that this is a somewhat sensitive issue, I thought I'd give this book a test run before deciding wether or not to review it.  Every Monday I volunteer in my son's kindergarten classroom.  Besides the usual tasks, I have the pleasure of reading one or two books to the kids each week.  I had the teacher, a 27 year veteran who has taught all grades, approve the book and then I read it to the kids.

It was great! I showed the kids the front and the back of the book and told them that we were going to read a book with a silly word in it.  The The Butt Book rhymes and I have to say, Bennet does a fabulous job with the rhyme scheme and meter.  He has said that his inspiration for this book was Dr Seuss's body books - The Foot Book, The Ear Book, The Eye Book, The Tooth Book - and his writing is definitely comparable to Seuss's rhymes.  I read a few pages and, when we got to the couplets that read:

Some names for butts have foreign flair:
tuchas, keister, derriere!

In England where they call moms "mums,"
people call their buttocks "bums."

I discovered the perfect place to take a break from the book and talk to the kids about all the different names we use for this anatomical aspect.  It was amazing how many different names there are.




They thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the book as well.  The discourse on animal butts, the importance of human butts and a few other asides make for a fun read and a great story time.  I had twenty little people, butts planted firmly on the floor, eyes on me with full attention for the time it took to read this book, and I can tell you, I usually lose the attention of one or two kids no matter what I am reading, but The Butt Book proved the exception!




Written by comedian, actor and writer Michael Ian Black and illustrated by a longtime favorite of mine, Kevin Hawkes (Weslandia, written by Paul Fleischman), Chicken Cheeks is really funny and fun.  The text is simple, yet creative and alliterative and the illustrations tell most of the story.  As the book begins, we see a bear on a step ladder staring up towards the top of a tree.  The text begins with, "Duck tail," and we see a duck go up on top of the bear's head.  On top of the duck comes "moose caboose," followed by "chicken cheeks," "penguin patootie," and "polar bear derriere."  Hawkes' illustrations of the animals are both realistic and humorous and the bright color palette is appealing.  The totem pole of animals continues until we reach the last one, "duck billed platypus, gluteus maximus," when we see that the bear is trying to reach a bee hive.  "Bumblebee bum" leads to the toppling of the tower and a pile of disgruntled animals.  The build up to the top, the suspense and the funny animal butt names make this a fabulous read out loud and a great companion to The Butt Book.


And, if you can spare three minutes of your day, there is a very funny video of the author reading his book...



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started books4yourkids.com in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …