Are you my bottom? by Kate and Jol Temple
Ill. by Ronojoy Ghosh. Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760631642
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Bottoms. Animals. Research. When the little panda steps out of his bath, something is missing. There is a hole where his bottom should be, so he sets out to find it. The following pages with their four lines of rhyming lines will delight younger readers as the panda asks a host of other animals if their bottom belongs to him.
Readers will squeal with pleasure as the panda picks the most incongruous of animals to see if they are wearing his bottom. He talks to a lemur, a giraffe, a blue feathered bird, a moose, a baboon and his dad, all to no avail.
Readers will love the rhymes, predicting the coming rhyming word, and getting into the rhythm of the stanzas, as the adult reads it out loud. With rereading many children will pick up their favourite lines to learn and read out as they are approached. They will learn all the different words for bottom: butt, bot, rear and behind, and shriek with delight as they get to the last page trying to work out what rhymes with flummox.
As a way of diffusing the snickering that surrounds the word bottom, this is a sure winner, making the absurd readable and invoking lots of laughter. And all without the poo/bum words that some authors seem to think is necessary in a book for younger readers.
Ghosh has received awards for his work in advertising, but his passion remains in children's books, where he was amongst the CBCA Notables for I'm Australian too by Mem Fox.