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Belly Button Boy

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Overview

Billy loves to get dirty, but he hates to take baths! He's not the least bit upset when dirt and mud start to pile up in his icky belly button-until a plant sprouts from it! He tries everything to hide his condition, but his navel garden just keeps growing. What on earth will Billy do to finally get the plant out? Peter Maloney and Felicia Zekauskas, the zany team who gave us The Magic Hockey Stick and His Mother's Nose, delight readers with Billy's wacky and wonderful ...

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Overview

Billy loves to get dirty, but he hates to take baths! He's not the least bit upset when dirt and mud start to pile up in his icky belly button-until a plant sprouts from it! He tries everything to hide his condition, but his navel garden just keeps growing. What on earth will Billy do to finally get the plant out? Peter Maloney and Felicia Zekauskas, the zany team who gave us The Magic Hockey Stick and His Mother's Nose, delight readers with Billy's wacky and wonderful adventure.

Having allowed his belly button to fill up with dirt, Billy is unhappy when he finds a bush growing there.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Maloney and Zekauskas's (The Magic Hockey Stick) droll delivery enlivens a familiar premise about a reluctant bather who finds a seed sprouting in his belly button. Nimble rhyming couplets relate how the mortified boy attempts to hide his navel garden at school and at home, but finally has to reveal his predicament. Duly whisked off to the doctor, he is told, "Your case is a matter beyond this physician./ I think a landscaper should treat your condition." Ultimately put to rights by a kindly gardener, Billy learns his lesson and scrubs himself thoroughly. This tale provides a good warm-up to Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's remedy for nonbathers (in which a filthy child gets a sprinkling of radish seeds). Wry vignettes show Billy in various stages of distress, from an early view of the boy asleep, a geology-style cutaway view labeling the 15 different layers of dirt in his belly button, to a snapshot of the boys' room at school, where readers spy Billy's red-sneakered feet below the stall door and the top of a shrub emerging above it. A Popsicle-bright palette adds further sparkle to this romp. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature
Billy loves to dig. However, he is not fond of bathing. Because of this combination, he soon finds himself in quite an embarrassing predicament. An undiscovered seed has sprouted and is now in full bloom. It doesn't sound so bad except that the seed has sprouted from his very own washcloth-neglected belly button. The story goes on to describe the dilemma and its lesson-teaching solution with witty, rhyming couplets and an extraordinarily fast-growing plant. The illustrations are bright and very complementary to the silly story line. The combination of the two makes for a laugh-out-loud hilarious book for any family who has their own aspiring Belly Button child. 2000, Dial Books for Young Readers,
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Billy's love affair with dirt creates the perfect climate for a plant to sprout in his navel: "And under that dirt, that muck, grime, and grout-/The tiniest seed had started to sprout." This cautionary tale, reminiscent of "Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's" radish cure, continues in labored rhyme. "Although the problem clearly had shocked her/His mother just said, `Let' s go see a doctor!'" Finally, a landscaper gets to the root of the matter and provides the obvious coda: "You've got a great gift, son, for growing things green,/But your navel is one place you've got to keep clean." Humorous cartoons in pencil and gouache can't save a book that deserves to be weeded before it is purchased.-Kathleen Whalin, Greenwich Country Day School, CT Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
Everyone knows a boy like Billy. He doesn't care to bathe, and his favorite retort is "Dirt doesn't hurt!" After digging in the dirt at home and playing in the sand on the beach one particularly grimy day, Billy finds his navel is full of sand and "all kinds of things that boys will dig up" (a humorous, labeled diagram of the layers of crud illustrates the discovery). Is that a leaf sprouting out of Billy's belly button? It is, followed by more leaves, a longer vine, and then a full-fledged bush. Billy's doctor refers the leaf-covered lad to a landscaper, who transplants the belly-button bush into a pot and advises Billy to keep his navel clean. This rather silly story is written in singsong rhyming couplets and illustrated by the authors in a bright cartoon style in pencil and gouache. Though adults might find the story inane, some kids (especially those in the anti-bath stage) will find it hilarious, with the potential to become one of those "not that one again?" books that the child adores and the parent would prefer not to read for the 33rd time. Of course, there is the obvious bibliotherapeutic use for the filthy child who will not get in the bathtub, and there actually is a demand for books in the early elementary grades on the popular subject of seeds. (Yes, humor has a place in the elementary science curriculum, or it should.) Not a first choice for all collections, but a book that grows on you, especially if you're six and hate baths. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142500170
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/14/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.28 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2004

    Belly Button Boy

    I loved this book. I read it all the time to my son. I love the way it rhymes. I'm buying it for everyone that's having a child this year.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2004

    Belly Button Boy

    I just loved this book. It's my favorite out of all the books I read to my boys. It wouldn't matter if you read this to a girl. It's funny, I love the rhyming. Wonderful book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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