Saturday, September 26, 2009

Banned Book #1: Walter the Farting Dog

Kotzwinkle, William.
Murray, Glenn.
Walter the Farting Dog.
Frog, Ltd.

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

Warning: This book may cause flatulence. Walter is a fine dog, except for one small problem: he has gas. He can't help it; it's just the way he is. Fortunately, the kids Billy and Betty love him regardless, but Father says he's got to go! Poor Walter, he's going to the dog pound tomorrow. And then, in the night, burglars strike. Walter has his chance to be a hero.

Reason(s) for Banning:
My Thoughts:
  • As a teacher, I would probably not use this book in an educational setting... some parents many find it offensive. However, that being said, flatulence (or farting) is a normal bodily function. While we can, in many cases control ourselves, we can certainly excuse ourselves if the action takes place in public.
  • I found that this book would likely make for an enjoyable read-aloud at home. For whatever reason, kids seem to get the chuckles around "farts." There's nothing wrong with a funny read-aloud, as long as it isn't taken out of proportions.
Based on my reading and reviewing of this book several times, I think that the book is certainly appropriate for children. While many adults may find the topic of farting inappropriate, I don't see anything wrong with using this book as a read-aloud within the walls of your own home. Perhaps you could even use it as a springboard for a discussion about how to handle yourself when you need to fart or if you are around someone who is farting...

I don't see any reason for banning the book from public libraries. In almost all cases, parents have to be available in order for children under a certain age to check out books... If you're a parent and don't want your child reading a book of this nature, that's for you to decide based on the welfare of your own child. Do so at your own consideration, but don't ruin someone else's reading pleasures!

Your Job - Share your thoughts on the following topics on this post!
  • Should the book be on the banned book list?
  • Is it okay to be found on a library or book store shelf?
  • How would you share this book with your child/children?
  • If you are not familiar with the book, based on my post and the discussion of others, would you consider allowing your child to read/be read this book? Why? Why not?
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to


style='clear: both;' Infant Bibliophile said...

I forgot that I was considering tracking this one down this week too. I can't believe someone would spend time or energy trying to ban something like this. I admit I have a bit of snobby disdain for the series, just thinking it's sort of... tasteless? No, not quite tasteless, but I guess I want my son to love books for different reasons than that they talk about farting, if that makes sense. I'm the first to laugh with my son (not even 2 yet) when he "toots," but I don't think we need a book about it. In terms of it being in a school library, I'd be 100% ok with it. As long as I wasn't the librarian -- my guess is that you have a lot of kids running over to the shelf giggling at it all day, and that might get old. :) I'm hoping to feature a bunch of challenged books this week too. My kick-off post is here: Love your blog after recently subscribing.

style='clear: both;' MJ said...

I know my kinders would love this! Would I read it in my classroom? I probably would! LOL Maybe because I've I've been teaching for 32 years now. My defense would be that it's a great jumping board for a unit on manners!