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Pottymouth and Stoopid

Review

Pottymouth and Stoopid

Written by James Patterson with illustrations by Stephen Gilpin.

What happens when you label a child "stupid" or "pottymouth" or any other moniker when they are small and then the label sticks? You tend to have a child who acts according to the way he was labeled.

Such is the case in James Patterson’s POTTYMOUTH AND STOOPID, where readers meet a kid whose nickname is "Stoopid" and his best friend, "Pottymouth." Both children were given nicknames in preschool, one for doing things that were "stupid" and the other for using inappropriate language. The nicknames stuck. Even the teachers started calling these kids by their nicknames instead of their real names. So, David, aka Stoopid, continued to act stupid, and Michael, aka Pottymouth, continued to use inappropriate language throughout their school years. As you can guess, this got them into all kinds of trouble.

"Patterson's writing style is light and engaging....This is a great book for kids who have nicknames that bother them...or for anyone who just enjoys a good story."

Things change when David's dad, who is a writer, comes up with an idea for a cartoon that features two characters named Stoopid and Pottymouth. The show becomes a hit. You might think this is a good thing, and it should have been, but David's dad is divorced from his mom and he has very little to do with his son. David even calls him his "Ex-Dad" because of this. David's dad uses the idea to make money without giving a thought to how it might affect his son's life.

Author James Patterson takes an interesting look at several problems that I believe all of us can identify with: the idea of "labeling" kids, being bullied and absentee fathers. Patterson probably took the issue of labeling kids to extremes as most of the adults in this tale use the children's labels or nicknames instead of their real names, and most of the adults either make fun of these children or at least enable others to make fun of them (there is no punishment for picking on these kids). However, by doing so, Patterson sheds light on how easy it is to label a child, while giving little or no thought to how that label or nickname might affect the child's behavior.

For the most part, the story is written from Stoopid's point of view. A few of the other characters weigh in on the storyline along the way, but those diversions are short. The text is illustrated with cartoon-like drawings by Chris Grabenstein on almost all of the two-page spreads, breaking up the words and making the whole thing more readable. However, Patterson's writing style is light and engaging and sure to catch the imagination of a middle-schooler.

This is a great book for kids who have nicknames that bother them, those who are bullied, or those who have absentee parents --- or for anyone who just enjoys a good story.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on June 26, 2017

Pottymouth and Stoopid
Written by James Patterson with illustrations by Stephen Gilpin.

  • Publication Date: June 12, 2017
  • Genres: Family Life, Fiction, Friendship, Humor
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: jimmy patterson
  • ISBN-10: 0316349631
  • ISBN-13: 9780316349635