Drunks, Leopard-Dots Pants and Lessonful Children’s Books

Rabbit - runEver longed for a children’s picture book about handsome gnus, potato vortexes, leopard-dots panties or drunks?  Well, I’m sorry to say that unless you speak a language other than english, it’s just not to be.

I was going through my writing articles today and stumbled across an old post I’d saved.  I have a habit of collecting writing related things that make me laugh: they help me to smile through the days where I feel a bit disheartened.  The original post was on Cheryl Klein’s wonderful blog.  As a New York editor, she gets sent short blurbs about foreign picture books, in order to decide which sound like good candidates for an english translation.  Needless to say, none of the below qualified.  In fact, I’m secretly hoping something was lost in the translation…  Enjoy.

Who’s the Most Handsome? Milo is the most handsome gnu in the world. His mother tells him so non-stop. He often asks himself what he’s got that the others don’t. So Milo decides to take part in a beauty pageant for animals. The first prize is a trip to Paris. But nothing is going as planned. In the crowd of candidates, Milo feels a little alone. And no longer so handsome. Suddenly, he sees a little penguin with his young refrigerator. A drama is at hand.

Go on! Don’t give up, Slug! From all appearances, there is a shell; it’s a slug and a snail. However, how about if we trace the slug’s ancestors? A poem with a unique viewpoint of a slug.

Bud and the Nameless Potato: One day, after school, Bud finds a strange potato on the table. Bud runs after the potato and falls into a fantastic world swept away by a huge vortex. Bud wants to know the name of the potato but it doesn’t have any name. And so Bud begins to travel with the nameless potato in search of its lost name all around the world.

The Cat and the Clarinetist: “A heartwarming fantasy with full of clarinet sound!” What is best ever for me is a life with cat. One evening there came a cat. She loved the sound of my clarinet. As listening to my tone, she got bigger and bigger, first larger than bed, then larger than house! You will be fulfilled with joy by the growing cat as you read on.

Where is my Leopard-Dots Panty? “Oh my! My leopard-dots panty is gone! It was in my drawer!” a kid shouts in his room, and from here the colorful story begins. First, it’s a baby lion who puts the panty on his head to be like his father. Then it’s a thick and large snake who takes a nap in the panty hanging down. Up next is a flamingo. Wow! She is wearing the panty as a necklace for her wedding. Then a baby otter wears it like a swimming glass. Very hilarious!

Puppy Poo: A Puppy Poo forsaken at the corner of an alley. Everyone avoids it saying “Dirty Poo!” One drizzling spring day, Puppy Poo meets a young dandelion plant who needs fertilization. Puppy Poo joyfully breaks itself down and soaks into the root of dandelion. This self-sacrifice finally blooms a dandelion bud into its full glory. A moving and lessonful story illustrated by Sung-gak Chong.

A Girl Born with a Sound of Fart: In the island far south, a baby was born with a sound of fart. She grew up to be a nice girl and her great fart would often save people from wild animals. Then she was asked to save people from the monster that comes for babies when the moon is full. On a full moon night, she set out for the sea to face the monster, with her powerful fart her only leverage.

The Toilet Express: Rubbing his sleepy eyes a little boy gets up to pee. But he bumps into the toilet that was on his way to an excursion. The toilet says he was late already and could not help him! The chase starts. The boy follows the toilet to the station and jumps on the Toilet Express. Dynamic illustrations with that familiar feeling of holding to go and the relief that follows is humorously described.

Aren’t they all Drunken? Children always ask adults “Why?” and one of the most frequently asked “why?” is “Why do they drink?” This question leads to other questions like “Why do their faces turn red?” “Why do they keep on saying the same thing?” “What happens in their body when they drink?” “Why they come to themselves after some hours?” No one can readily answer these questions, so let’s look into the mystery of alcohol!


10 Responses to “Drunks, Leopard-Dots Pants and Lessonful Children’s Books”

  1. 1 Michael March 16, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Katherine these are sensational! I think they eventually made that Leopard-Dots Panty one into a film. I’m pretty sure I saw it on SBS late one night. And ‘self-sacrificing poo’ – who’d of thought? I now have a new found respect for excrement. But it’s the, ‘Aren’t they all druken?’ that really strikes a chord with me. How many times have I asked those very same questions, ‘Why? Why? Why do I drink? Why is the room spinning? Why do I keep on saying the same thing? Why? Why? Why? Why? …’

  2. 2 Katherine Battersby March 16, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Glad you enjoyed them, Michael! Ah, the SBS. I recently saw a quality film on there called ‘The Killer Condom’, which, if made into a picture book, would fit perfectly in with the above titles. And I think the book ‘Aren’t they all Drunken?’ has definite appeal within the adult market – we could all benefit from the answers to those age old quandaries…

  3. 3 Michael March 16, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Oops! I just noticed that in my comment I’ve written ‘druken’ instead of ‘drunken’. Just wanted to point out that it was a typo and not me slurring my words for any reason …

  4. 4 Katherine Battersby March 16, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Yes, well, I decided to just overlook that and the repetitive words. After all, who am I to judge just another tortured artist who may or may not resort to various methods of ‘creative enhancement’, even early on a weekday morning… :)

  5. 5 Sheryl Gwyther March 16, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Now, I have a picture in my head of this fellow, Bud, gripping a large potato to his chest, and the potato is wearing leopard-dots pants. Eeeeek!

  6. 6 janebretl March 16, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Thanks for the smiles. Just what I needed today! Plus now I can cross all these ideas off my to-do list as “already done” :-)

  7. 7 Katherine Battersby March 17, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Couldn’t help but smile today when I spotted on my stats page that someone found my blog by googling the word ‘panties’… How may children’s writers can say that?

  8. 8 MUMUMUM March 24, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Don’t forget with all of this talk about Leopard spot pantied that your brother has a pair framed hanging on his wall which explains a lot!

  9. 9 Madeline Stephenson March 25, 2009 at 7:10 am

    This post reminds me of a play I rejected a year or so ago. I stopped reading about 10 pages in when an old naked man (painted green) ran across the stage. This was submitted to a company who publishes children’s plays?

  10. 10 Katherine Battersby March 26, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Oh my goodness, Mum, I had forgotten about those… lets just hope Scoot isn’t reading this blog!

    And Mady, what a children’s play that would have made! Not just naked, but old and naked and green! The mind boggles at all the strangeness that happens in creative peoples’ heads…

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About this Blog…

A blog of ramblings about the world of writing and illustrating for children, by an author / illustrator who might just have a thing for rabbits.

Katherine's picture books, 'Squish Rabbit' and 'Brave Squish Rabbit', are out with Viking (Penguin, US) and UQP (Australia). Please e-mail if you would like her to blog about something in particular.

All text & images  Katherine Battersby

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