Excuse Me!

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Dave Hughes & Holly Ife (text), Philip Bunting (illus.), Excuse Me!,  Scholastic Australia,  1 Nov 2017,  32pp.,  $16.99 (hbk),  ISBN 9781742765914

This humorous tale by comedian Dave Hughes and his wife, Holly Ife, is about a sheep, Martha May, who had marvellous manners. She was always polite and never made rude noises. She most certainly DID NOT fart. That is, until one day at school Martha May ate a lot of beans at the Baked Bean Bonanza. Her tummy began to gurgle and grow until she sailed right out the window and into the city. After some timely advice from a tenant in a top floor apartment, she realises farting is okay as long as she does it discreetly.

Young children love anything naughty or rude and will lap up this toilet humour. The message that all of us have bodily functions that are normal, if not always talked about, is a worthwhile topic to discuss. I’m sure this story will spark much sharing of experiences and even teachers will identify with times when students hold their noses, stifling giggles or moans while a toxic odour drifts around the room. The creative book design and Philip Bunting’s fabulous illustrations perfectly complement and extend the witty text. Recommended for preschoolers and lower primary students.

Reviewed by Sharon Seymour

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