How to teach a lesson about inappropriate language without including actual obscenity? Swedish furniture names offer one way.
Following a discussion of rude noises in Daddy Sat on a Duck (2015), Cohn tackles rude language. When Daddy bangs his thumb while hanging a picture, the little-girl protagonist reports, “He dropped all his tools to the floor and turned red. / Then he shouted a word that I’d never heard said.” Despite Mommy’s evident disapproval, the utterances continue: when her father falls off of a pier, during a poker game, and when Uncle Elan—wearing a shirt suspiciously similar to a Jack Daniels T-shirt—visits. Although the collage art is undistinguished and the rhyme is clunky in places, the rhythm gives the story a light tone and encourages readers to keep the pages turning. Adults should not worry about cursing; all profanity has been swapped out with words reminiscent of IKEA catalogs. All too soon the little girl gives vent to her own frustration at school: “SKÅP!!!” Her teacher handles the situation with a gentle but clear explanation about determining what words should not be repeated. A subsequent call to the parents to explain what happened preps them to further discuss the matter with their daughter. The story wraps with a lesson on expressing feelings. An amusing Swedish-English glossary concludes the book.
Sure to be a giggle-provoking conversation starter for kids who have mockingbird tendencies. (Picture book. 4-8)