So excited to talk about CHICKEN BUTT! But, I swear, it’s not all about poultry arses. It’s actually hilarious and totally vegan friendly. I had to get it when I saw it because it looked so cute. It also made me think of a song that my friend Rachel and I made up in our Government class in high school—you know, a few years ago. It went like this:
na na na na na Na Na Na. NA-NA-NA.
na na na na na Na Na Na. NA-NA-NA.
I know. Creative genius.
We also used to do the whole guess-what-what?-guess-what-what?-guess-what-what?-CHICKEN-BUTT! game, but…duh. Cool people do that. Right?
Anyway, I saw CHICKEN BUTT! and immediately flashed back to happy feelings.
CHICKEN BUTT! by Erica S. Perl
Illustr. by Henry Cole
You know what?
The classic schoolyard joke has been recast as an irreverent picture book, with call-and-response parts for parent and child. The word repetition in Erica S. Perl’s text, and wonderfully comic illustrations by beloved artist Henry Cole, make this a particularly inviting book for new readers, as does the opportunity to “trick” a parent or other adult into participating in a very silly joke. The humor builds to a surprising and satisfying conclusion. Warning: Kids will want to read this one over and over and over again!
First of all, this book is not for lame-os.* If all you ever want at story time is for your kids to sit quietly while you listen to yourself speak, hoping they’ll fall asleep so you can go enjoy your Puccini and sardine puffs, then CHICKEN BUTT! is probably not for you. Go read them a dictionary or something. Your kids will fall asleep and have plenty of material for their therapist later.
If you love the sound of your child laughing until you think he just might pee his pants
If you love the feel of your little four year old’s pudgy fingers on your cheeks, while she shouts, “You know what!” into your face
If you love to see your kid running around the room, flailing his arms in the air, singing “monkey butt, duckie butt, elephant butt, any-animal-I-can-think-of butt”
Then, CHICKEN BUTT! is for you.
Clearly, this book can be exhausting. It’s a bit like giving kids noisy toys—you give them lots of material to make you crazy. But it’s a good kind of crazy, because every giggle and wiggle lights you up inside and makes you feel like you have fulfilled your purpose in life.
I have no idea what teachers would make of this book, though—maybe this is one to read at the end of the day right before Mom and Dad come to collect the rugrats, but I’d say it’s one to have in the library for sure. Your kids will LOVE you and think you’re the coolest teacher in the world. Because you don’t just teach them their letters and colors and numbers—you teach them laughter.
I’ve never had so much fun reading a book with my four year old. She has memorized every word in this book. And yeah, it’s simple. No major lessons to be learned in this. Wait. I take that back. Here’s what your child will learn:
It is OKAY for adults to romp and play and laugh and be silly so-yeah-that-means-that-someday-when-you’re-all-grown-up-you-can-too-kid. You enjoy the sound of their laughter sokeepitupkiddo. And you have the best, most bounciest reading lap in the whole world because no one can read this book sitting still. Oh, and one more: laughter makes every bump, bruise, and stolen toy seem far, far away.
So. Yeah. CHICKEN BUTT! is a keeper. You’ll get a lot of mileage with it, because they’ll ask you to read it over and over. And it’s crazy fun. I recommend reading it when you need a boost of energy.
Recommended for ages 4-8.
Caveat: If you read the book like a dry stick in the mud because the joke is completely lost on you and you can’t for even three minutes pretend like you totally get four year old humor, then the joke will likely be lost on your kid, too, and you will sap all the fun out of CHICKEN BUTT! and possibly life.
*Not trying to imply that if you don’t like the book you’re a lame-o. I’m merely saying it’s not for lame-os. But if you like reading the dictionary to your kid so you can get them to sleep so you can listen to Puccini and eat sardine puffs, I will worry about you.
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