Does Toilet Humour Have a Place in kid’s Books?
Does toilet humour have a place in kid’s books? In my opinion, yes! It does, as long as we’re able to show ours kids the difference between rude behaviour and everyday language. And, that they don’t get carried away. From a writing sense, we don’t want to encourage cheap laughs and lazy writing either. And, we don’t want our kids to think for something to be funny, it has to be crass, because there are so many funny books that don’t use toilet humour at all.
That said, small children laugh like nothing else at farts, butts and poop. And, I guess I come back to children laughing as the main factor in favour of these stories. As long as they’re not being written and published as fart books for the sake of a fart book. They must contain decent writing and a storyline. Books such as Who Flung Dung and The Bugalugs Bum Thief are two that spring to mind that tell a fun and wonderful tale.
So, do I think toilet humour is funny?
As a blog site focusing on books for young readers , I think it’s important that I address the topic of farts, butts and poop and its role in funny. Because in many ways, nothing makes kids laugh more than letting Fluffy off his chain. But, toilet humour will never be everyone’s idea of comedy. And, for my own sense of humour, I have to go back to my own upbringing.
Was it just my uncle, or did every uncle of his era use expressions like, “Better out than in,” or, “Here, pull my finger,” then proceed to laugh whole-heartedly as he farted out loud? Of course, society frowns at such behaviour these days and rightly so. However, I do remember laughing out loud with my uncle every time.
Do you ever laugh at a fart?
I started by asking myself, do I still laugh at farts? And of course, the answer is yes. In fact, I laughed only this morning and that’s what has prompted me to write this post.
The thing is though, I don’t know why I laughed so hard. You see, we’ve recently moved house and I was unloading some boxes of stuff and came across an old toy of my son’s that makes this fart noise. As I took it out of the box it went off and I laughed out loud. Crazy right? I don’t really know why. Had my uncle planted the gene? I laughed for ages and I’m still smiling now thinking about that noise it made.
You have to understand, I’m not the most mature person you’ll ever meet, so I guess it’s coming from that sort of a mindset. However, I’d also like to say that I consider myself a decent person. I’m kind to my mother, I eat my broccoli, I stand up for old people on the bus and I never ask my nephews to pull my finger. But, tell me a good fart story and I’ll laugh for days.
This morning’s laughter also got me thinking of not only why I was laughing but the type of laugh it was. It was unbridled joy.
And, when I think of children laughing at toilet humour, it’s the same type of laughter. It’s that belly laughing that comes from a truly happy place inside us. And, that’s a good place to be. It’s pure joy. And as a father, nothing makes me happier than seeing my son laugh out loud.
Can toilet humour be a way of meeting reluctant readers half way?
I’ve done some research and discovered that many reluctant readers got onto more in-depth books via titles like Captain Underpants, The Day my Butt went Psycho and Walter the Farting Dog. And, I’ve interviewed various authors and publishers who have stated how important laughter is in children’s literature. How reading funny books can introduce kids to a wide array of other books and topics. So, I think toilet humour does have a place in children’s books if done correctly.
So, tomorrow I’ll head out to my favourite book stores and see what fart and butt and poop books are out there. I’ll see how well they’re written, and see if any make me laugh. If they do, I’ll let you know.
Smell ya later.