Kim Hartman

Kim Hartman
Charleston, West Virginia, USA
April 01
~Flying Solo~
Kim is a former publisher and editor and now works as a freelance journalist and writer covering topics that include- Holistic and Alternative Health, Spirituality and Environmental issues, as well as southern living, culture and humor about daily life. With 20 years of experience she has written for magazines and newspapers throughout the Mid-Atlantic states and was a featured writer for Coastal Connection, InnerSelf and a contributor to the Smithsonian Magazine Health, and CNN, iREPORT and opensalon. She particularly enjoys gardening, writing and reading satire and parodies and the news of the odd, bizarre and strange, with a penchant for sharing opinions on things that make you go hmmm. email: "~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them...about the only thing you can't do is ignore them, because they change things. They push the human race forward. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They create. They explore. They inspire. Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written? Or paint words to paper in a way that makes them come alive? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." ~~ Apple Computer ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans are suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you." Rita Mae Brown-

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 31, 2010 3:55PM

12 Bizarre Kids Books You Won't Buy

Rate: 45 Flag


.                                                  It Hurts When I Poop

.Ryan is scared to use the potty. He's afraid to have a poop because he's afraid it's going to hurt. When Ryan's parents take him to visit Dr. Gold, she engages his imagination with the story of Bill the Coyote's messy house. She also shows him what happens inside the body, and explains how different foods make using the potty easy or hard. This story, along with Ryan's "poop program," will help young children gain the confidence they need to overcome this common problem and establish healthy habits.

.      creepykids8                                                                                                                                                    

.                                         Hair in Funny Places
Brandishing her outrageously sly sense of humor, Cole (Mommy Laid an Egg) tweaks the topic of puberty in all of its glory, with predictably boisterous results. Here, in response to a girl's query to her teddy bear about the process of growing up, she whips up "Mr. and Mrs. Hormone" and their dog, a vile little trio who "live inside you" and " mix the potions that turn children into adults." Typical of Cole's no-holds-barred approach, the girl's parents are used as examples ("your mom sprouted small bosoms and hair in funny places").
She touches briefly on everything from menstruation ("She found a tiny drop of blood in her underpants") to acne and body odor ("He wanted to kiss the girls but Mr. and Mrs. Hormone had made him pimply and smelly"), erections ("Inside his penis, Mr. Hormone was lurking with another dollop of the mixture. This made it grow big and small whenever it wanted") and nocturnal emissions ("some sticky stuff actually came out"). The watercolors are equally candid, and the gleeful depictions of naked bodies may raise adults' eyebrows but children will laugh out loud. Cole's madcap style leaves no room for embarrassment; it could pave the way for more informative discussions between kids and adults. Ages 7-up.
                                       The Long Journey of Mister Poop

.Caca. Poop. Number two. Kids have a thousand names for it. Don’t they want to know where it comes from? The Fantastic Voyage of Señor Caca shows kids the hows and whys.

A smart wolf in a lab coat leads kids on a journey through their digestive system. A little girl eats an apple for a snack (crunch, crunch), and the apple drops into the esophagus (glug, glug) before a stop in the stomach. At each stop along the way the wolf explains in simple scientific terms what the body is doing. After the pit stop in the stomach, what remains of the apple must enter the small intestine (gurgle, gurgle), then the large intestine, and finally . . . well, you know. Hint: It doesn’t smell like roses here.



.                                Joined at Birth - Conjoined Twins

Grade 4-6. In both titles, Landau presents the material in a straightforward manner along with medical explanations and terminology. Chapters provide historical and modern examples of conjoined twins (Joined at Birth) and dwarfism (Short Stature); medical causes and treatments of the conditions; and questions, concerns, and challenges faced by young people and adults living with these differences. Special terms are printed in bold type and most are explained within the text.


While the books focus on the differences, Landau adeptly describes how these individuals are like everyone else. Excellent-quality, full-color and black-and-white photographs appear throughout. Fine additions to help children build understanding and acceptance of others.?



.                                                   Where Willy Went

PreSchool-Grade 2–Willy is not good at math but excels at swimming. He and his nemesis, Butch, practice every day for the Great Swimming Race. Finally, armed with goggles, a number, and two maps, he and 300 million other competitors swim madly for the prize–the egg inside Mrs. Browne. Willy is a sperm. All his practicing pays off and he victoriously burrows into the "lovely and soft" egg, which grows and grows in Mrs. Browne's tummy until it becomes a baby girl. But "Where had little Willy gone? Who knows?" However, when little Edna is old enough to start school, she isn't very good at math but she IS very good at swimming.


This breezy and amusing romp may not resolve those pesky questions about reproduction but it certainly lends personality to the process of fertilization. The double-entendre title is indicative of the cheeky and humorous text, which is lively, well paced, and essentially accurate. The line and watercolor illustrations perfectly suit the irreverent tone and include a lift-the-flap expanded page and a "find Waldo"-style spread. Both sperm and humans are endearingly expressive.


As to the science, an unclothed Mr. and Mrs. Browne are anatomically correct but the racing map of Mrs. Browne's reproductive system is confusingly vague. Nonetheless, adult readers will be thoroughly entertained and children will be charmed if not completely informed. While a relatively innocuous and engaging piece of sex ed, this title could be a potentially provocative addition to picture-book collections.



                                                               Standing Up

PreS–This story has limited appeal for boys in the United States. After seeing Manneke Pis–the bronze statue of a boy peeing that is located near the Grand-Palace in Brussels–a toddler is motivated to learn how to stand up to urinate. His first attempt doesn't go well, but by his fifth try, he is aiming at trees, snails, and cracks in the sidewalk, and, finally, standing next to his father and peeing at a European-style urinal. Humorous color cartoon drawings will have adults smiling as this training is not easy. Endpapers are decorated with the child's clothes hanging on a line to dry. Because of the slight cultural differences, librarians may want to skip this title in favor of Alyssa Satin Capucilli's more standard The Potty Book for Boys (Barron's, 2000).–Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA



.                                    I Wish Daddy Didn't Drink So Much

.PreSchool-Grade 2 A Christmas fiasco paves the way for young Lisa to share her feelings and frustrations about the duality of her alcoholic father's behavior, its immediate effect on their holiday celebration, and the long-term effects on her family as well. Skillfully interwoven is family friend Mrs. Field, a recovering alcoholic herself, who provides a somewhat happy ending to a relatively disappointing day. Vigna's familiar pastel watercolor washes provide a soft and gentle vehicle for depiction of both action and emotion.


Although Kevin Kenny's Sometimes My Mom Drinks Too Much (Raintree, 1980) is the closest book in terms of target group, Vigna still reaches a younger audience in her brevity of text and emotional scope. A note to adults that provides insight into the child's feelings and tips for parents in assisting their child's understanding of the situation is appended. Addresses and telephone numbers are listed for Al-Anon and the Children of Alcoholics Foundation.


This title is best placed in a parenting collection to facilitate and encourage sharing situations. A realistic portrayal that provides a balanced picture of the sober and alcoholic parent and an early primary age child trying to make sense of it all.



.                                      Disabled People Who Cares

 The Who Cares series helps us to learn about ourselves, our world and our responsibilities, and fosters caring, sharing and loving instincts. 7 1/2" x 7 1/2" For children ages 5-10 years. The recommendation is for kids 5 and over Kids learn what it means to be blind, deaf or mute, or to have something wrong with your brain, etc. That it isn't nice to stare at people with differences, but to just be their friend and it teaches them to be caring people.



 .                                            One Two Three Pull!

.The chicken is trying to pull a nice, juicy worm out of the ground, but it's not budging. So she enlists the help of the rabbit, but the two of them still can't do it. Soon the whole barnyard is helping her pull, when...This satisfying, circular story with a repetitive refrain will have even the youngest readers wanting to help pull on that stubborn worm! The chicken appears to be in the most compromising position and a bit sexual to many adult readers.



                                    Ma! There's Nothing to Do Here!
 “Ma! there’s nothing to do here!” complains the precocious protagonist of this rhyming tale set entirely in utero. It’s not exactly a scintillating experience spending nine months in your mother’s womb. You’re just stuck there at the end of that dumb bungee cord (a.k.a. the umbilical cord), with nothing whatsoever to do but slosh around. But, oh, the endless joys you have to look forward to as you listen to the tick-tock of ma’s happy heart clock and await that happy day when you finally come out to play.
                                                         Hiroshima No Pika
A little girl and her parents are eating breakfast, and then it happened. Hiroshima No Pika.  The United States has dropped the atomic on the city of Hiroshima.  Life in the aftermath. This book is dedicated to the fervent hope that the FLASH will never happen again, anywhere. Available in English and Japanese.
                                                     A Scary Thing Happened

The coordinator behind a children's coloring book that was pulled from FEMA's Web site last week is standing by her work — despite its controversial cover, which shows a child's drawing of New York's Twin Towers on fire with a plane flying toward them.

"A Scary Thing Happened," a downloadable coloring book designed to help children cope with disaster, was developed by Minnesota's Freeborn County Crisis Response Team following a local tornado in 2003. It was posted on The Smoking Gun Web site after FEMA took it down last week.

Click here to view the coloring book.

Sources for all reviews:
....   and the Flip-side

12 Books for Kids -Parental Consent Required - Kim Hartman - Open Salon



                          . blahblahblah2

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I don't know about the others, but Hair in Funny Places (and anything else by Babette Cole) is hysterical!
That one is hilarious -- I went in search of all of these over the weekend at Library and book stores and they are all a bit umm funny. :-X
Between the title's and pictures they sure do seem to be "odd"
"odd" -- To say the very least.
I must have been in a closet for the last 30 years. I haven't heard of any of these books. Of course, my kids are grown and gone, thank God!
It took me a little bit to figure out this was NOT satire, although maybe the trick is still on me.
I have had the best laugh I have had all day. Thanks!
Definitely, has that "feel" of satire at work -- that's why I linked each one to Must be many people laughing at them because this story is being lifted across the net and I posted it first last Saturday. Each time I look at the covers -I still am amazed these were actually in print, in demand, for sale and in many public libraries.
Willy having a nemesis named Butch is just funny as heck. Some of these books look kind of charming, if slightly odd.
It was as if The Onion had listed their OS top ten books for kids.
Where was "I Wish Daddy Didn't Drink So Much" when I was a kid?
I actually bought the one with the conjoined twins - just because.
Scanner, I teach Kindergarten and I've never heard of any of these books! They seem bizarre, but when trying to explain the world to small children, I can see where they might come in useful.
I am SOOOO tempted to buy "It Hurts When I Poop" for our bathroom reading shelf. Our children are grown, so I'd love to know what visitors think when they see it there!
That would be a hoot -- let me know how it goes.
Is it April Fool's Day already?

Tooooooooooooo funny
Wow, I am glad my kids are beyond some of is kind of freaky. Or maybe I am just olddddddd. Rated.
Dang! And we thought Dr. Seuss was strange!
There is such thing as TMI. I would have been appalled at most of these books when I was a child. Then again, I was the kind of kid who understood "appalled". Great post!
Those may be real but they remind me of a collection of fake ones floating around the internet a few years back. Some examples:

Strangers Have the Best Candy
Why Can't Mr. Fork and Ms. Electrical Outlet Be Friends?
You Were An Accident

Weird books but amusing post.
LOL @ Why Can't Mr. Fork and Ms. Electrical Outlet Be Friends?
Kim, I don't mean to be the blogger police, but your post is dated March 31rst, and the HuffingtonPost piece is dated March 29th. Care to explain?
You have the internet at your fingertips.. please do a search of ALL my blogs . And compare both stories.
The Babette Cole book looks like the typical dumbing down. You make it sound like it's written for second graders, yet the earliest maturing girls have several years to go before it happens to them.

The worm book looks like a variation on the classic story about a turnip. I guess not enough kids know what a turnip is.
Tim Burton should option them all for 3D Blockbusters. Imagine the merchandising possibilities! :o
I was looking through Google Fast Flip and they had this blog post listed! How cool is that!

What an interesting collection of WEIRD books. rated
My wife recently brought home a copy of, “Walter the Farting Dog goes on a Cruise”, for my grandson. The only thing I found more outrageous than the title was the fact that it’s a series. What could be more ridiculous than a series of books about a dog with flatulence issues? Gee, I wish I’d thought of that!
What a great list of comic books.
They're all pretty funny and totally silly.
I did find one line in there that was descriptive of how up tight "adults" attempt to force their twisted thinking onto children;

"The chicken appears to be in the most compromising position and a bit sexual to many adult readers.'

Now, if an up tight "adult" didn't try to force some innocent kid to see things that way, maybe they wouldn't grow up to be future up tighters.

All in all, it is as I said, a funny collection of comic books.
Someone mentioned that the writers of these books are insane, etc.
I know one who writes these things and, she is one of the weirdest, strangest people I've ever met.
I read this thinking it was satire and I am still not sure. Kind of like "Shutter Island" (I actually accidentally just typed "Shitter Island instead--myaybe I shoulda left it?) --is the guy insane or is he a prisoner of the asylum? If these ARE for real then our culture is insane! And if you are kidding us, then maybe you're insane? Either way, it gave me a laugh on April Fool's Day and I needed that!
I know these are serious books, but I sure got a chuckle out of them!!!
I can't believe that someone objected to "A Scary Thing Happened"! Do they really think kids somehow haven't heard about 9/11? Do they think that it wasn't supposed to be mentioned anymore? The supposedly offending image is ONE PAGE out of 25, done very tastefully, and the whole book is about COPING with such disasters. This is why kids are screwed up - they are sheltered so thoroughly that they are completely unprepared for LIFE.
Reading this post is a rollercoaster of emotions. First stop: hilarity, then we get to ew and then horror. Awesome post. FYI, I found it through my google news! You've hit the bigtime! Congrats! BTW, I am probably going to buy half of these books. Especially the one about daddy drinking too much because it's so fricking hilarious and because someone should have bought it for me when I was a kid.
Most of these are at least funny titles!

I have read Hiroshima No Pika though. I can attest that it is a very moving book about the bombing of Hiroshima, telling the story of that day from a child's point of view.
Happy April Fools Day and thanks to those who contributed to BOTH of the opensalon 10 books stories. enjoy ...
Strange. I read an article just like this one, about the same books, on
Yes, you sure did see it on because I emailed it to them for a repost... I was pleased they reprinted it.
Check out those links to for each book and you will see 100 or more of the most shocking and bizarre kids books you could or couldnt even imagine.

I wonder how many of these books they actually sell?

There are many different versions over the years of "10 books lists" of the most bizarre, most troubling, creepiest, scariest and freakiest kids or adult books written and there will be hundreds more versions of these lists.

The majority of them being equally amusing -

Just like any topic thats funny or bizarre or important in the world on every subject you could come up with after a few minutes.

Doesn't mean of them are copying each other - no one owns the intellectual rights for the content to the "funniest" or "most bizarre" or "creepiest" or "most famous" reviews of anything. These are all opinions and occasionally they will be shared to some degree.

This list is meant to make you laugh, smile and shock as well to educate and inform each other on things that make you go hmmm.

When so much of the news is unsettling these days - anything that brings a smile or laughter is a good thing -

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did when I created my list of 12 favorites or in this case most bizarre!
I love Babbette Cole and that book, "Who Cares About Disabled People" came home in a reading bag not long ago. Oh well - life is life - if you can't write about it, even for kids, then what's anybody doing here? :)

This was obviously a bit of work to put together. Thanks for taking the time. I laughed. I cried. It's better than the NYT Review of Books.

wow! truth is funnier than fiction! love the way you put this all together. rated.
This was pretty funny....the first two had me rolling. Totally reminded me of a similar blog post I was forwarded around Christmas time.....
I must get these. Thank you!
Someone commented that "Hair in funny places" is for too young of an audience -- but when there are many 8 year olds getting their period (look it up, not kidding!) it might take a book like this to help.

Also, "It hurts when I poop" isn't funny when you have kid who needs it --like mine.

And since I have seen both of these at Dr's offices, there is a need for them out there, so someone IS buying them.

I don't think most of these books are bizarre at all --any book that helps a kid figure out this insane world is ok by me.
What's most amazing here is how many people find these books either scandalous or made up. They are real, and there are real parents, children, and librarians who might find them helpful and enlightening, not to mention entertaining. Thankfully, there are authors, publishers, booksellers, and librarians who believe in making the widest possible range of views and topics available for reading. As a public library CEO and member of the board for the Canadian Children's Book Centre, I say more power to them!
Barbara Park is one of my daughter's favorite authors, and was honestly the first one she knew by name. She writes the "Junie B. Jones" series, which often made us laugh out loud. As for the rest, I might not buy some of them while others would. I'm just glad that now publishers will publish a book with characters and subjects that are anything besides a white family with a mother and a father and a dog and a cat...and where nobody at all has a penis, a vagina, or a problem. Cool post.
My son is autistic, so I am always looking for different books to explain the unusual. Actually books like some of these really help autistic young ones. And sometimes parents like me are left to become writers ourselves making books and slide shows on the computer to explain to other children what comes with age and time. The good news is when it is written down and repeated for him over and over, he seems to eventually grasp the meaning. Thanks for the post.
'i wish daddy didnt drink so much'...who writes this stuff??