My son’s summer reading list came in early July. He wasn’t remotely interested in any of the books on the list. They had pictures and words that he could read on his own, and yet I still couldn’t convince him to read any of them with me. Believe me, I tried. He’s stubborn but he also loves books so I did the next best thing I could to get him into reading mode and excited about literature all over again – I snatched up a review copy of Sweet Farts: Rippin’ it Old-School by Raymond Bean since I knew (yes, I knew) that he would be interested in that.
His face lit up when he first held the book in his hands and read the title to me. He burst into hysterics and immediately sat down and demanded (yes, demanded) that we start reading it right away.
Even though it’s the sequel to Sweet Farts, which we hadn’t read, we quickly caught up on what we missed since the author did a great job explaining how (in the original book) the main character’s science fair project became a worldwide success. Keith Emerson, a student at Harborside Elementary, had invented Sweet Fart tablets which cause farts to smell good, rather than horrible. Each flavor delivers a scent just like you would think (cookie dough, for example).
As a mom of a young boy who thinks passing gas and burping are the funniest things in the world (don’t boys of all ages think this?), I couldn’t help but imagine – as we read the book together – how awesome it would be if Sweet Farts tablets were really available. I’d give them to my son every morning, like vitamins!
I stopped counting the number of times the word “fart” appears in the story as we got nearly a third of the way thorough it and I quickly got used to hearing my son laugh out loud every time something disgusting happened (his favorite chapter was the one in which several people throw up).
I won’t tell you what happens in the sequel, but I will say that this book, along with the Captain Underpants series, has led my son to want to read more books and even inspire him to create his own. It’s even inspired him to come up with some great science experiments of his own that would actually serve to help others, like the experiment that Keith comes up with in this sequel.
I want to encourage my son to remain interested in reading and even though the stories he enjoys may also inspire more potty talk and fake fart noises, I know that along with every other phase we go through, we’ll get past this and his love of language and literature is something he won’t outgrow. As he matures (when exactly does that happen again?) so will his taste in subject matter. One can only hope.
His other favorites from when he was younger:
The Gas We Pass
All About Scabs
The Holes in Your Nose
Other books for boys can be discovered at GuysRead.com, put together by one of my favorite children’s authors, Jon Scieszka.
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