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The Bathroom Reader

Poopendous! author Artie ­Bennett turns  bodily functions into kid-appropriate art

“Matt said the F-word!” tattled five-year old Maya as my sweet little kindergartners did their morning color, cut and paste. I was shocked, but not so much when I learned that the F-word in question ended in -art. Children are intrigued by smells, noises and products of the bathroom.
    This month the Key School welcomes a writer who turns references to bodily functions into kid-friendly and kid-appropriate art.
    Take the little ones to the school’s Book Festival on Saturday, April 13, to meet Artie Bennett, a master of children’s literature who appeals to youngsters’ (and yours too, admit it!) love of potty humor. A former librarian, Bennett is the author of The Butt Book and will be in Annapolis with his newest literary endeavor: Poopendous!
    Professor Pip Poopdeck, who admits his subject is “icky poo,” takes Poopendous! readers on a world tour of customs and uses of animal and human waste. Tossing out toddler words for number two, the professor introduces more descriptive terms like “wombat cubes” and “owl whitewash.” He says animals use their business to mark their territory or just to say I was here! (Sounds like smelly graffiti.)
    Kids will be surprised and maybe grossed out to learn that some African tribesmen live in houses made from cow dung. That’s no odder than slinging cow pies for sport at American county fairs.
    The book is silly fun packed with serious educational information. Bennett’s rhymes and Mike Moran’s colorful cartoonish illustrations make the book a joy for kids and adults.
    The Bottom Line: Hear Bennett read from his book (10:30am) at the Book Festival’s full day of authors, demos and books.
    Learn more at the author’s hilarious website: www.artiebennett.com.