We Toot! (Ashley Wheelock & Arwen Evans)

Hello, friends! Our book today is We Toot!, written by Ashley Wheelock and Arwen Evans, and illustrated by Sandie Sonke, a wonderfully empowering tale… about farting.

The sleepover has been a major hit: after playing games, singing songs, eating treats, and a good night’s sleep, the girls all wake up smiling – that is, until a loud sound cuts through the group, and a certain… pungent odor is smelled. The girls guess at what the sound and smell might be (an elephant? broccoli? a skunk?) until one girl exclaims the obvious: it was a fart. Another girl is scandalized – girls shouldn’t fart! It’s not ladylike or proper! But a third, redheaded girl laughs at this, claiming the gas as her own, and sets her friends straight: farting is completely natural, and nothing to be ashamed of. The girl points out that our bodies make lots of different sounds and smells, just like everyone else’s. In solidarity, the other girls admit that they all fart, burp, and have tummy rumbles as well! The redhead encourages her friends (and the reader) to love the body they have “just because”.

Silly and marvelous. Underneath a delightfully whimsical story that pokes fun at the stinky smells and funny sounds of passing gas lies an important message about the ridiculous standards girls and women are held to, down to their unavoidable natural functions. The message joyfully dispels the myth that there’s something wrong about girls’ bodies behaving like anyone else’s, and gives little readers permission to own their bodies (and bodily functions) with pride and a healthy sense of humor. It elevates a simple book about farting – a timeless element of kid humor – into an empowering feminist parable, and was a blast (har-har) to read. JJ loved the repeated catchphrase of “We/I Toot!” And the bright, carefree illustrations. The length is perfect, and we definitely recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the authors in exchange for an honest review.)

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