The Boy with Two Belly Buttons

The Boy with Two Belly Buttons

by Stephen J. Dubner, Christoph Niemann
     
 

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Solomon never thinks it's strange that he has two belly buttons—until he finds out that no one else does. Is having that extra belly button good or bad? Things look worse and worse until an unexpected encounter makes Solomon appreciate what it means to be a little bit different.

This one-of-a-kind story from bestselling author Stephen J. Dubner

Overview

Solomon never thinks it's strange that he has two belly buttons—until he finds out that no one else does. Is having that extra belly button good or bad? Things look worse and worse until an unexpected encounter makes Solomon appreciate what it means to be a little bit different.

This one-of-a-kind story from bestselling author Stephen J. Dubner (Freakonomics) and illustrator Christoph Niemann will strike a chord with anyone who feels like an exception to the rule.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Freakonomicsco-author Dubner's debut children's book stars young Solomon, who is distraught about his extra belly button, especially after his mother tells him, "One is the right number of belly buttons." He can't even give it away: "How could I be the only turtle in town with a belly button?" asks his navel-less friend Victor (a turtle). "That, my good friend, is a recipe for ridicule." But when his abdominal anomaly is deemed movie-worthy by a famous director-who looks more than a little like Steven Spielberg (complete with baseball cap)-Solomon decides being different isn't so bad after all. Despite what seems like a can't-miss premise-the mere phrase "belly button" is a guaranteed giggle-getter-Dubner's tale of self-acceptance is surprisingly slack. Although Niemann's boldly outlined, retro-styled cartoons are fun to look at, the story moves from event to event without building comic or dramatic momentum, and the appearance of the Spielberg look-alike smacks of deus ex machina. Ages 4-6. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3
This adult author's stab at writing for children sends a nice message, but it is wrapped in a puzzling and not particularly satisfying package. Solomon has two belly buttons. On discovering that everybody else only has one, he feels that he doesn't belong. He tries to give the spare away, first to a baby, then to a talking turtle. Then he seeks information from an expert whose scornful dismissal sends the boy away in tears. Despondent, he wanders off and bumps into-of all people-a "very famous movie director" who bears a powerful resemblance to Steven Spielberg. The director thinks Solomon's extra belly button is "special" and offers to make a movie about it. The child's attitude changes completely, and the story ends on a happy note. Niemann's illustrations feature heavy black outlines, spare backgrounds, and an eye-pleasing burnt-umber-and-Confederate-gray palette. The text is light and reads easily, perfect for short attention spans. The rare readers who develop an emotional investment in this story may stop to ponder its mysteries but the rest will simply put this book down as soon as they finish it and move on to something else.
—Catherine ThreadgillCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061134029
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/25/2007
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
4 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Stephen J. Dubner, a former writer and editor at The New York Times Magazine, is the author of Turbulent Souls (Choosing My Religion), Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper, and the children's book The Boy with Two Belly Buttons.

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