The greatest book in the world by Matt Porter (Rudolph Wordsmith)
Ill. by Dave Atze. Ford St, 2019. ISBN: 9781925804140.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Language, Rhyme, Verse story, Bad language, Nudity, Humour. If you love looking for rude words that rhyme with 'bart' and 'snickers' and 'mum' and 'slurp' and 'start', as Rudolf writes his way through this book in four line rhyming stanzas, then this book is for you. Rudolf introduces his book, inviting readers to add the last word of each stanza, carefully picking a word that rhymes. Of course the words that kids will call out, suggest and perhaps think but not say are the rude words that kids adore ('poo', 'bum', 'knickers' and so on) so Matt Porter instantly gets his readers on side and involved with words that are not quite acceptable. What a hoot - kids will love it, as well as adults as they read the book out loud, soliciting the correct words as well as those not quite so correct.
Atze's illustrations show a zany cartoon character for Rudolf, divesting himself of his clothes as the story unfolds. Poor Mum and Grandma the unwilling witnesses to Rudolf's antics. As each page is turned the correct word is revealed, the author often admonishing the reader for the word they thought of, again reinforcing the correctness of language and what is acceptable and what is not. This is a treat for kids discussing acceptability of language, looking at what language can be used and where as well as its appropriateness in particular circumstances.
Almost put off by another fart book, I found that the basis of the story in showing children when and where language can be used is a useful tool for parents and teachers alike in setting standards in their home and classrooms. With a great lashing of humour supported by funny illustrations, this book will be rarely left on the shelf.