Are You My Bottom?
Kate & Jol Temple
Allen & Unwin, 2018
32pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99
Little Panda wakes up to find his bottom is missing! Where could it be? He searches here and there, high and low and even pastes Wanted posters on the wall, but there is no sign of it anywhere.
Oh, wait? There it is – it’s black and white like his, but no – this one is long and stripy and belongs to Lemur. Well, perhaps that’s it, up in the tree. No Panda, you’re being absurd. That is the bum of a fine feathered bird.
As each bottom turns out to belong to something else, nevertheless each creature joins in the crazy romp to help Panda out. Will they be successful? Or will Panda be bottomless forever?
With its distinctive illustrations and its rhyming text, this is a funny book that will have young readers laughing and trying to predict whose bottom Panda has spied and just just where his might be. But it is also a good way to introduce the concept of bottoms and their essential role in the anatomy and health and well-being of every living creature. Simply asking, “Why does Panda need his bottom?” can start an interesting discussion that can lift the common taboo of this subject among little people. It might even start speculation about why all the creatures in the story (and others) have tails, whereas humans don’t. Fun, entertaining and offering teachable moments all at the same time.