Every kid goes through it. Some adults seem to have never outgrown it. Like it or not, there is eventually going to be a time in the lives of our children when words like “poop” and “butt” are completely fascinating and cause uncontrollable laughter. For my five-year-old son, that time is now. He picked up this new habit from the slightly older boy next door and I often heard the two of them playing together saying things like, “That’s the poopy butt train! It’s got a load of poop!”
Charming, I know.
For the most part, I don’t interfere too much with phases like this. As long as my son isn’t talking to adults with the words his teachers refer to as “bathroom words,” I figure that the best thing to do is to ride out the phase quietly and let him get it out of his system.
Then I got the chance to review a book that takes this irritating fascination with rear ends and turns it into something positive. Everything Butt Art at the ZOO by Brian Snyder and Alexis Moniello is an innovative learn-to-draw activity book that starts every picture with…you guessed it…a butt! I knew my son would think this concept was just delightful and I was thrilled when I got the chance to review the book for myself.
When the book arrived, I leafed through it quickly and immediately noticed that it was much more than just a drawing book. From fun facts about zoo animals to crossword puzzles and word searches, there were all kinds of fun activities to keep kids entertained!
When I sat down with Zackary to do some drawing, the first thing I had to explain was that every picture started with two joined, curved lines and how that shape was the shape of a bum. He had to think about it a little, but when he saw the first picture, in which the butt shape is actually used for the bum of a monkey, the concept clicked and he started laughing. He immediately decided to try drawing a snake, the second animal featured in the book.
I really liked the step-by-step process that was used. Each numbered step featured the previous lines in black and the lines that needed to be added in red. The different colours really made it easier for Zackary to see what needed to be added. We worked together with him drawing and me pointing out how the current lines connected to the previous lines.
Zackary has a great grasp of language and letters, but he hasn’t yet developed his writing skills as much. Drawing different animals really helped him work on his control and I couldn’t help but smile when I thought about how he was developing his writing skills with the help of a bunch of butts!
With a little help from me here and there, Zackary drew a snake, a crocodile and a lizard. The next page featured a word search and when Zackary saw it, he instantly got excited. “I’m going to look and see if there’s a maze, Mom!” he exclaimed to me. He flipped through the pages and was soon grinning in delight as he found his way through a maze that helped a hungry warthog find a meal of insects.
Zackary and I both really enjoyed Everything Butt Art at the ZOO and as I had suspected, Zackary loved that every drawing began with a butt! This book was a great fun and quirky introduction to drawing for my son and I loved the way that the drawing and other activities were contributing to my son’s visual development as they entertained.
The activities were mostly designed for school-aged children, but the fun facts were good for all age groups and so were the drawing lessons. For a unique and funny way to let your child develop their artistic talents, check out the book for yourself. It’s sure to make your child giggle and you’ll love how many things they can draw when they start with a butt!
Buy It: To purchase Everything Butt Art at the ZOO by Brian Snyder and Alexis Moniello, shop online now