Audrey Wood has dedicated years of her life to the enjoyment of children by writing numerous children’s books. Many of them focus on varying topics, from teaching kids their ABCs in unique and fun ways to merely entertaining kids with books like The Napping House. Elbert’s Bad Word takes a typical situation that any child might be caught in and exaggerates and personifies it into a useful story that parents will be pleased to read to their kids.
Elbert is stuck at a stuffy cocktail party that his parents have taken him to. It’s no fun. He’s the only kid there and there isn’t anything to do while the adults eat food and drink their drinks and talk about things that Elbert isn’t interested in. But when something goes wrong (like a croquet mallet falling on his foot!), he says a bad word and shocks the entire party. He gets his mouth washed out with soap by his mother, though the bad word – a fuzzy, mean little creature – doesn’t seem to want to go away.
That is, until a wizard appears (looking like the gardener) and gives Elbert some alternatives. With different words to use instead of the bad one, the fuzzy monster soon goes away and Elbert doesn’t have to worry about it again. Instead, the sparkling, crackling words even earn the applause of all the people at the party!
Elbert’s Bad Word gives parents a way to tackle the potential issue of a child using bad language. Audrey Wood’s ingenious idea combines with her and her husband’s (Don Wood) illustrations. There are no bad words involved – instead it is a gnarly monster that pops out of the boy’s mouth for the right impression.
Kids can learn some fun new things that can act as replacements, from “Gadzooks!” to “Rats and blue blazes!”
While some children’s books are a little more formal and straightforward, Elbert’s Bad Word utilizes imagination and inspires kids to be creative in a good way. Ideal for ages 4 to 8, it can become a quick favorite in the household or at schools and kids can happily use “sparkly” words instead.