Mar 26, 2013

Poop, Pee and Boogers

Pooping, peeing, passing gas and picking boogers. Yep, those are all actions that children think are hilarious, especially in books with illustrations.

As writers, we want children to enjoy reading, to learn by reading, and to do all these things with our books in their hands, but don't we have to satisfy the parents first?  After all, they are the ones buying the book.  Let's think about this in story format, shall we?

Sammy loved to visit the bookstore. His mom took him every Saturday morning.

One day, Sammy noticed a new, shiny book on the shelf.  Sammy looked closely at the book and giggled.  He grabbed the book and ran to show his mom.

"Mom, can I have this book?  I want it. Look!  That boy is picking his nose! Heee heee!"

Sammy's mom looked at the book and said, ".........."

So, what did she say?  I'm asking you.  Will parents buy a book that features a character doing something a bit gross, but completely human?


  1. That's a good question. I know there's a book, "Everybody Poops", that is popular, and I know some boyscout troupes have it as required reading (before they go camping, so they understand to bury their poop).

    I think there's realism that comes from books like that, especially if there's a lesson to be learned about it. So, I wonder if there's a lesson to be learned from a character who picks their nose. As children we're taught not to do it in public, or to do it discretely in public. It's a faux pas to be caught with a finger in your nose, yet a thumb receives less scrutiny than an index finger or a pinky.

    So, if I were a parent presented with that instance, I would review the book to determine if there were lessons to be gained, certainly. Then again, it could also depend upon my mood for the day. I might put the book back and ask them to pick another one.

  2. Ash, I'm probably like you. If it teaches them not to be gross about it, then I'd buy it. Otherwise, I doubt it.