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Podcast Podcast

Episode 24 — Irreverently Funny and Worth Reading


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Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

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Grades K – 5
Podcast Series Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers
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Duration 9:38
Original Air Date Published June 16, 2010

Music in this podcast is provided by MUSICJAG. musicjag logo


Book Chat

Cookies and Milk

Expert Chat


Book Chat

school-nakedYou Can’t Go To School Naked by Dianne Billstrom; Illustrated by Don Kilpatrick III (Putnam Juvenile, 2008).

Any parent who’s ever battled with a preschooler about what to wear in the morning will appreciate this book. And any young child who enjoys the silly and absurd will appreciate it as well. In this book, a mom and dad try to convince their young son that he should wear clothes to school. They give him all sorts of reasons like no pockets when you’re naked and terrible sunburns that leave you as red as a tomato, which may then lead people to add you to their stew. With no clothes you can’t slide into second, and I don’t even want to mention what might happen to your hide if you try to slide down a hot slide while naked. In the end, the young son sides with reason and puts on his clothes, but in young child fashion, finds something to wear that still has his parents shaking their heads in exasperation.


chicken-cheeksChicken Cheeks by Michael Ian Black; Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (Simon & Schuster, 2009)

This book is a great study in synonyms. Who knew there were so many words for a bottom? How about keister, or buns, or tushy? The animals in the forest are working together to reach the beehive at the top of a very tall tree. One by one they begin to stack themselves to make a tower, and one by one each animal gets a heinie in its face as the next animal climbs atop. The text is simple with the colorful illustrations expressing each animal’s thoughts on having a patootie stuck in its face.



Underwear: What We Wear Under There by Ruth Freeman Swain; Illustrated by John O’Brien (Holiday House, 2008).

A Children’s Choices favorite in 2009, this book takes a piece of history that will make kids snicker and blush. We all want to know, but do we want to publicize it? Kids say…”YES!” This book traces the history of that very private and interesting piece of clothing—underwear! From the ancient breechcloth to the present-day technologies being explored that might help us wear underwear for a month without being washed (ooh, gross!), no underwear is left uncovered. Discover how Amelia Bloomer revolutionized women’s undergarments (good-bye corset!) and how disposable diapers helped millions of parents and astronauts (say what?). History buffs, or those who are just plain curious, will enjoy this informative and fun informational book.


Fartiste by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer; Illustrated by Boris Kulikov (Simon & Schuster, 2008).

On a roll after reading the history of underwear? You might want to continue your journey by reading the biography of Joseph Pujol—a man who had an explosive talent for farting. This isn’t just everyday farting; this is artistic farting. Pujol, wearing special pants to let air out, could bring down the house at the prestigious Moulin Rouge by farting animal sounds and famous songs of the time. Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer, a husband/wife team, have written a hysterical biography in rhyme about an oddly talented man. This is one biography your kids won’t say no to reading!


Cookies and Milk

Fourth grader Alex and his mom, Letty, used the Book Review Form from the Parent & Afterschool Resources on ReadWriteThink.org to write a book review of Underwear: What We Wear Under There by Ruth Freeman Swain. Alex gives a brief summary and shares his favorite underwear tidbit, and his mom offers up some advice for parents who would like to try this activity at home!

Expert Chat

In this expert chat, Emily shares her interview with Kathleen Krull and writer–husband Paul Brewer. Together they created the book Fartiste, the biography of Joseph Pujol—a man who had an explosive talent for farting. Listen in as Kathleen and Paul describe how they discovered Pujol. Also, get the scoop on the duo’s new humorous book called Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country).