book review

Don’t Say That Word! by Alan Katz, illustrations by David Catrow

Cover Image

There are words that every kid loves to say, perhaps because they know adults would prefer they didn’t say them.  Some of those words, like booger, burp, poop, butt, and barf (they’re fun to type too!), figure prominently in Michael’s retelling of his school day to his mother.  Unfortunatly, he’s not allowed to say them, hence his mother’s admonition (and the title of the book) “Don’t Say That Word!”  Michael ends up being sent to his room, in time out, and with a bar of soup in his mouth for the usage of the words that he’s not supposed to say.  In a way that’s even more fun for a young reader, the author doesn’t actually use the offending words, but poses rhymes instead: “Some kids played a mean trick on Jesse/with their gum they did you know what./His chair was all gummy and messy, and suddenly so was his…”  Kids will love the illustrations that show Michael in a variety of hilarious situations as he illustrates the naughty words, and they will easily identify with the objects that indicate a busy household populated with children (Michael’s ever-present dog, a multitude of toys, even an overflowing toilet).  Certainly, kids will laugh at Michael himself who definitely looks like trouble with his shock of red hair and overly exaggerated facial expressions (I think he looks vaguely like a Who from Dr. Seuss’ Whoville).  This is a great read aloud for an older child who will delight in filling in the blanks with the words they aren’t normally encouraged to say. 


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