Instagram is filled with beautiful pictures of amazing books, carefully styled and tastefully displayed, showing the wonderful array of inspiring children’s fiction that is available at the touch of a button. I know this because a lot of the time this is what I am trying to share as well. However, occasionally I do wonder whether these images would be as appealing to the target audience of the books as they are to the many dedicated adult kidslit fans out there who are swooning over the latest picture book beauty.
In contrast, the books in this blog post are probably not the most beautiful. They may not have a particularly inspiring message at their heart. But they are pretty much guaranteed to get your children laughing, you will probably find yourself having to read them multiple times and they may even become one of those books that your child remembers in twenty years time. So, without too much fuss, I give you my favourite (if that’s the right word?) books about toilet humour, bodily functions, nudity and everything that makes kids laugh. I have added a scale (from 1/5 silly to 5/5 gross) so you have an idea of what you’re going to be getting. I hope your little ones love them as much as mine do. Enjoy!
‘Poo Bum’ by Stephanie Blake
Simon is a rabbit who refuses to say anything other than ‘Poo bum’ which drives everyone he knows slightly mad. One day, he says it to the wrong person and ends up getting eaten as a result. He is eventually saved and looks as though he has learnt his lesson but sadly Simon is a creature of habit and it’s not long until he replaces his favourite phrase with something equally inappropriate. Kids will love the main character in this book (so much so that there is now a string of books and even a Simon cartoon on Netflix) although it does come with a health warning as there is the strong possibility that your kiddos might copy Simon’s behaviour and drive you mad too!
Silly scale: 1/5 – pretty harmless, just the obvious repetition of the ‘poo bum’ phrase but your children will still think its a bit rude, which in turn makes it hilarious.
‘Nuddy Ned’ by Kes Grey and Garry Parsons
Silly scale: 2/5 good old-fashioned bottom jokes but nothing too rude.
‘Poo in the Zoo’ by Steve Smallman and Ada Grey
This has been a favourite at our house ever since we borrowed it from the library about three years ago. My nephew also has a copy because he found it so hilarious when he came to our house. I lost count of the times I heard the phrase ‘dodo doodoo’ followed by the kind of hysterical laughter only little kids can make.
The basic premise is that an iguana goes on a feeding rampage, ending with some fireflies, and produces a glowing poo which people come from far and wide to see. This attracts the eccentric Hector Gloop, who owns a travelling poo museum and wants this glowing specimen to add to his collection (yes that part is pretty surreal but also is very funny!).
For all that this is quite a gross subject matter, the writing is brilliant. It is a joy to read out loud with tongue twisters, a lovely rhythm and some really fun vocabulary. The illustrations somehow manage to stay just on the right side of tasteful and really help to bring the characters alive. I would recommend this for any picture book lover and I think most parents will find themselves laughing along.
Silly scale: 3/5 quite a lot of descriptions about poo but so well written that you won’t mind
‘The Dinosaur that Pooped…’ by Tom Fletcher, Dougie Poynter and Garry Parsons
If you are a frequent library visitor or book browser you have probably come across this series of books. Danny has a very greedy pet dinosaur who eats too much and then ends up doing enormous poops, even as much as pooping an entire planet. The writing is good and kids find them hilarious. They are a bit more descriptive than Poo in the Zoo and as an adult I find them a bit overly gross at times but then, they aren’t written for me and the target audience are so pleased with them that there are now multiple titles, activity books and toys so it’s clearly a format that works. If your children like their books gross then these are definitely worth seeking out.
Silly scale: 4/5 quite gross when it comes to description of what the dinosaur poops but your children won’t mind!
‘The Story of the Little Mole who knew it was None of his Business‘ by Werner Holzwarth and Wolf Erlbruch
This book first came to my attention when we used it as a whole school science text. We were looking for an engaging text that would appeal to a wide range of ages and abilities and, once the children realised that they were allowed to laugh at this off the wall text, this definitely fit the bill.
In summary, a mole wakes up from a nap and finds that someone has pooped on his head. Indignantly, he then travels around the farm asking all the animals whether they are the culprits. Each animal goes to great lengths to show the mole their own poo and describe the sound it makes so that he knows it wasn’t them. Enter the flies, the experts on animal poop, who give the mole the name of the guilty party and his chance at revenge.
This is hands down the grossest book on the list but I am yet to find a child that doesn’t also find it funny and yet bizarrely interesting and informative at the same time. It’s not a book I’ve ever seen in the library or at a bookshop but is easily available online if you know someone who would find it fun. (I recently bought it for my nephew for his fifth birthday and it went down a storm).
Silly scale: 5/5 there is no dodging that this book is all about poo in its many different forms but that is only going to make it more appealing to your kids.
So there you have it, five fantastically irreverent kids books that will appeal to anyone who loves a bit of toilet humour and/or casual nudity. Let me know if there are any others I should check out as there is always room on our shelves for one more…