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THE BUTT BOOK by Artie Bennett


by Artie Bennett and illustrated by Mike Lester

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59990-311-8
Publisher: Bloomsbury

This paean to the posterior opens with the claim that, “[e]yes and ears are much respected, / but the butt has been neglected.” It would be legitimate to wonder whether Bennett and his publisher regret this overconfident statement, publishing as it does in the wake of Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo, by Ayun Halliday and illustrated by Dan Santat, The Tushy Book, by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tracy Dockray, and the sublime Chicken Cheeks, by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (all 2009). But a contract’s a contract, so here is yet another book about bottoms in all their glory. Rhyming couplets invite readers to regard animal butts and human ones, historical butts and modern ones, plain old American butts and exotic foreign ones. While it’s normally a given that any mention of the word “butt” and glimpse of a naked cheek is enough to send preschoolers into gales of helpless laughter, one has to wonder if even they haven’t become jaded by the butt glut. Lester’s energetic watercolor-and-scratchboard illustrations can’t lift this book above the rest. (Picture book. 3-5)