Don't Say That Word!


In Art my pal Richie got inky.
But Mom, that was only the start.
'Cause Richie then made the room stinky
by blasting a really big...

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In Art my pal Richie got inky.
But Mom, that was only the start.
'Cause Richie then made the room stinky
by blasting a really big...


Michael can't wait to tell his mom all about his day at school. But how can he, when she keeps stopping him before he gets to the best part?

Laugh out loud with the bestselling team who brought us Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Songs and the other hilarious books in the Silly Dilly series. But what ever you do...


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

As with Katz and Catrow's other collaborations (Take Me Out of the Bathtub), this silly picture book revels in its own outrageous humor. When Michael's mother asks him what happened at school, he launches into a series of rhymed stanzas that inevitably end in an indelicate word that his mother forbids him from saying. Catrow's watercolors complement the text with an abundance of humorous details. Michael is portrayed with a knotty shock of red hair as he dramatizes each scene, cluing readers in about each particular word he (and presumably they) are not supposed to say. He holds up a weighty scoop of mashed potatoes to illustrate how his teacher "threatened to punish the group" when "she stepped in a pile of dog..." While Michael and his dog traverse the cluttered, eccentric house, the reader sees only his mother's hands and shadow, and in addition to the main action, random silliness occurs on each page-the toilet overflows, a squirrel hits Michael on the head with an acorn, a Brussels sprout bounces through the dining room. Finally, when Michael's mother hopes that he will have "calm days ahead" and suggests that "it's late and you should be in..." it's Michael who interrupts, screaming "Don't say that word!" Readers will be able to supply each missing word with gusto (booger, fart, burp, etc.), though those a tad less daring may choose to keep silent, rather than risk voicing a "bad word." Ages 3-8. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2
In clever rhyme, Katz suggests a variety of crude words that children are taught not to use in polite conversation, but which, in fact, are part of daily playground banter (booger, burp, poop, butt, barf, toilet, fart). Kids will delight in filling in the blanks (the seven words never appear in the text). When Michael's mother asks him what happened at school, he replies "Rebecca brought in birthday cookies-oatmeal, fudge, raisin, and sugar./Lee gave the whole class the ookies-he picked [his nose] and topped his with a . . . ." Mom's response, "DON'T SAY THAT WORD!" sets the pattern for the rest of the book. The illustrations are piled high with visual jokes and outrageous details, carrying the humor far beyond the text. Children and pets are painted with Catrow's signature enormous eyes and outrageous hair; adults are minimally depicted with elongated pointing fingers. Readers will identify with the details of a busy household: the vacuum on the stairs, floors cluttered with toys, the ever-present dog, the time-out spot. Allowing kids to talk about "naughty" words can remove the power associated with them, and Katz and Catrow have fun doing it. A first choice for celebrating children's natural fascination with body functions.
—Mary HazeltonCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
In a set of rhymes that should have second graders of all ages rolling on the floor, young Michael's report on a school-day's events runs afoul of severe restrictions on the vocabulary he's allowed to use. A parental interruption (see title) means that readers will have to supply the last word of each verse: "In Art my pal Richie got inky. / But Mom, that was only the start. / 'Cause Richie then made the room stinky / by blasting a really big. . . . " Catrow imbues the illustrations with his usual frenetic energy, placing the shock-haired young poet amid masses of messy domestic clutter and posing him with visual clues (e.g., finger in nose or pointing toward butt, holding a steaming mass of mashed potatoes, etc.) to aid those readers-if there are any in the entire world-who can't figure out the right rhyming terms. Put this on the shelf with more direct titles like William Kotzwinkle's tales of Walter the dog, Shinta Cho's The Gas We Pass (1994), Lisa Kopelke's Excuse Me! (2003) and such-or maybe with etiquette books. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689869716
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 6/26/2007
  • Edition description: Repackage
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 825,488
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Katz is the author of many seriously silly books for children, including the bestselling Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs, illustrated by David Catrow. Alan lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut, with his journalist wife, Rose, and their four children. He can also be found at

David Catrow is the illustrator of numerous notable books for children, including the other Silly Dilly books, as well as Kathryn Lasky's She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year. Mr. Catrow is also a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist whose work appears in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as in nine hundred other newspapers. He lives in Springfield, Ohio.

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