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We Toot
Ashley Wheelock and Arwen Evans, illus. by Sandie Sonke. House of Tomorrow, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-73313-741-6
Six children attending “a party, the slumbering kind” crawl into sleeping bags following the usual sleepover fare when all of a sudden, a fart rings out: “brroommm / broommm / bbrroom.” The kids look around in confusion, as one smells peanuts, before a few others guess—“or maybe garlic and broccoli... eggs? Dirty diaper?”—and cartoons of the sound’s possible provenance appear floating amid green and brown stink swirls. The narrator, a Black girl, comes under suspicion (“Smelt it, you dealt it”), until the culpable white host returns from another room and willingly confesses (“It’s totally natural, you know that is true”), encouraging the others to embrace their bodies and the sounds those bodies sometimes make (“I let farts rip too,” counters the narrator). Digital illustrations by Sonke emulate a range of layered mediums, creating visual interest, and the cast is drawn inclusively, with differing skin tones, heights, and body types. While Wheelock and Evans’s rhyming narrative may be slim, the picture book serves as a good reminder to treat such emissions as normal occurrences that are part of having—and loving—a body. Ages 4–8. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 07/31/2020

Release date 08/01/2019

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