Don’t Call Me Fuzzybutt!
Robin Newman, Author
Susan Batori, Illustrator
Sleeping Bear Press, Fiction, Mar. 15, 2021
Suitable for ages: 5-8
Themes: Bear, Woodpecker, Forest animals, Interpersonal relationships, Name-calling, Gossip, Humor
Opening: “Bear needed a lot of sleep. Two hundred and forty-three and a half days, to be precise. Anything less and he turned grizzly.”
Bear is tired. The weather is getting cool and he’s ready for a nice long nap–he’s got earmuffs and a brand-new door to keep out the noise, plus a pair of fluffy bunny slippers. Meanwhile, real estate mogul Woodpecker finds his recent homes…missing. And he follows the trail of debris right to Bear’s new front door. When he “tap tap taps” to talk to Bear about it, the two engage in a feisty exchange of name-calling and gossip with the rest of their forest neighbors. Can they patch it up–literally–before Bear loses too much sleep?
Why I like this book:
Robin Newman’s Don’t Call Me Fuzzybutt!” is an irresistibly funny picture book. Rich with Newman’s hilarious text and Susan Batori’s lively and expressive illustrations, Bear’s story shows children how hurtful name-calling can be and how important it is to compromise and apologize. Woodpecker’s exuberance plays off Bear’s grumpiness. At the height of their confrontation, large illustrations brilliantly show Bear and Woodpecker’s anger — nose to beak! The humor is spot-on and children will ROAR with laughter!
Newman has a distinct and clever voice as an author. She uses kid-pleasing sounds (GROWL SNARL, ROAR, PECK, PEST), repetition, witty wordplay and fun reiterations of butt. Newman hit a home run with Don’t Call Me Fuzzybutt! It’s her best picture book yet! Don’t Call Me Fuzzybutt! is an entertaining read-aloud for home or in the classroom. Make sure you watch the trailer below!
Resources: Engage children in a discussion about name-calling, using Bear and Woodpecker as examples. Ask kids if they’ve ever called someone a name? Have they ever been called a name? How did it make them feel — mad, hurt, bullied, or surprised? Help children make a list of what they can do to stop name-calling. Encourage kids to draw a picture of their favorite scene in Don’t Call Me Fuzzybutt!
Robin Newman was raised in New York City and Paris where she was a practicing attorney and legal editor, but she now prefers to write about witches, mice, pigs, peacocks, bears and woodpeckers. She is the author of the popular chapter books Griswold and Wilcox Mystery series, and picture books No Peacocks! and Hilde Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep. She lives in New York with her husband, son, goldfish, and two spoiled English Cocker Spaniels, and one French Bulldog. Visit her at her website.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
*Review copy provided by the author is exchange for a review.