Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Butt Book by Artie Bennett

The Butt Book

Author: Artie Bennett

Illustrator: Mike Lester

Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Ages: All

There are all kinds of picture books. Some initiate the early reader into the mysteries of spelling and counting, others offer a peek into the lives and customs of people from around the world. Some gently address the worries and anxieties of growing up, others teach us to celebrate the little quirks and many differences that make each one of us special.

And then there is 'The Butt Book', Artie Bennett’s humorous ode to that much ignored part of our anatomy.

Would the butt please take a bow’, Bennett begins, before whisking the reader off on a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of sorts, past a motley lineup of derrieres - anglophone and foreign, human and animal, royal and common. Don’t let your behind be the butt of jokes, he urges and then proceeds to do just that as he quite literally get to the bottom of things, discussing the butt’s indispensability to every creature graced with one.

Mike Lester's illustrations do more than just complement Bennett’s verse; they take off on their own zany trajectory, imaginatively translating the author’s words into hilarious images. Be it a cheery landscape of trees and clouds absolutely brimming with, well, cheek, a bawling newborn with a head of hair Elvis would have approved of, or a concise diagram of the evolution of man (and his mutation-resistant behind) from aquatic beastie to bipedal Bob, each page is a gleeful celebration of the book’s subject.

I imagine The Butt Book might ruffle a few parental feathers; certainly, most moms and dads I know would probably roll their eyes and mutter disapprovingly of its effect on impressionable minds. And yet, what child does not delight in the rude and absurd mysteries of its own body – fleshy rumps, unseemly noises, treasure-filled nostrils- and a vocabulary enriched with colourful synonyms for them? And what parent, for all her eye rolling and disapproval, does not remember savouring that very same delight, as the booger-obsessed, raspberry-blowing, bumptious kid she once was?

Here is a book that recognizes that simple and priceless delight.

Thanks to Artie for sending me a copy of the book to review.



sandhya said...

Wonderful, WJ. I'm going to certainly look out for this one. My daughter will love it at the stage she is at now- where peers often come up with anatomical jokes. Let them know that these can be genuinely funny, and not always rude.

artnavy said...

fantastic- anush would love it- she is discovering new words for what she only knew as " bum" so far

utbtkids said...

"And yet, what child does not delight in the rude and absurd mysteries of its own body..."

Amen to that. I am so looking for this book.

Choxbox said...

Sounds delightful!

Meera Sriram said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meera Sriram said...

We recently enjoyed Mary Elise Monsell's book "Underwear", along similar lines. BTW, is there any word left in the thesaurus for the b-word:)
Great review WJ, well-written!

Sunita (Poppy) said...

Lol! I am certainly not of the rolling eyes category so I think I want to read this book!

Praba Ram said...

But (yes, with a big B!) for you I would have never heard about this, L! Love your goofy, sprinkled with humor style of writing - "head of hair Elvis would have approved of, treasure-filled nostrils...LOL!! :)

Vibha said...

The cover page says it all. Sounds interesting.

Related Posts with Thumbnails