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PB-friendly cursing?!

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We have a wonderful picture book from (of all places!) the Royal Copenhagen (yes, the dishes) store in Copenhagen. It's a PB about some of their dishes and figures come to life.

Anyway, the little seahorse from the top of the sugar bowl gets frustrated about something, so he "curses" by saying things like "soppy starfish", "crazy cuttlefish" and "slimy seaweed." The meaning is clear but (IMO) completely inoffensive. You could do the same by making up things that relate to your theme.

HTH
#31 - October 26, 2012, 04:47 AM
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Wow, I love all these ideas. Such 'colourful language' in picture books! Who knew?!
#32 - October 26, 2012, 05:49 AM

My daughter's kindergarten teacher would say "my stars". :catmoon:

One of my son's early primary teachers said, "Drat!" So, of course, he picked it up. He sounded quaint, and vaguely British.
#33 - October 26, 2012, 05:21 PM

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I used "durn" in Cowboy Camp, "phooey" in Princess in Training, and "fiddlesticks" in my upcoming The Farm that Mac Built. Apparently, I am a picture book potty mouth.  :-X

Another possibility could be, "Rats!"
#34 - October 29, 2012, 09:14 AM
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I used "durn" in Cowboy Camp, "phooey" in Princess in Training, and "fiddlesticks" in my upcoming The Farm that Mac Built. Apparently, I am a picture book potty mouth.  :-X

HILARIOUS!  :dr
#35 - October 29, 2012, 09:17 AM

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And, uh, one of my latest releases is actually called Oh, Nuts!
#36 - October 29, 2012, 09:17 AM
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 :dr I'm also a PB potty mouth, having used most of those myself! Nice to know I'll be able to get away with it!! I'll just point at your books and say, "Well, Tammi did it!" and then pout, stomp my feet and hold my breath until they let me have my way.  :turnblue
#37 - October 29, 2012, 09:21 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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And, uh, one of my latest releases is actually called Oh, Nuts!

*like*

I love Oh, Nuts!  In fact, I posted your book trailer on the boards because I loved it so much! I can't believe you didn't post it yourself!!! It's so awesome! It's in Promote Your Books, titled... "Tammi Sauer's secret book trailer!" hee hee
#38 - October 29, 2012, 09:22 AM

I didn't read the whole thread but did someone already mention "Those Darn Squirrels!"? Hilarious. The sequel just came out and I think it has a starred review in Kirkus.

But if you want something piratey, you may need a different approach. Ever watch Spongebob? My three-year-old loves to say "tartar sauce" as an expletive.

Depends on the sort of voice you want to evoke.
#39 - October 29, 2012, 09:44 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
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Hmm, I'm thinking of using phooey doo doo in my current wip.
I wonder if that sounds too poopy?
Ya know, it's hard to know what is acceptable.

Carole
#40 - October 29, 2012, 09:45 AM

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Carole, I'd use what feels right. Your agent or any interested editor will tell you if they think it's not appropriate.

I don't think phooey doo doo crosses any lines, but it might depend on the context.  :eh2
#41 - October 29, 2012, 09:48 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
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Omigosh, I just realized I have ANOTHER book with an expletive.....

In Me Want Pet!, the cave family uses the word, "Ug."

I am probably going to get kicked out of the kid lit community.

(And thanks, Salina, for posting the Oh, Nuts! trailer. You are the coolest.)

#42 - October 29, 2012, 09:56 AM
COMING SOON: Making a Friend*Wordy Birdy Meets Mr. Cougarpants*A Little Chicken*Nugget & Fang, the SEAquel*The Farm that Mac Built & MORE

I also know that people will find reasons to be offended about things--you will never please everybody. One story time parent got very offended over a story featuring snakes because snakes symbolize Satan and how dare we expose children to that? One dad got mad at me for reading a (friendly) monster book because they had just worked through "There are no monsters under your bed" at home and then the librarian "confirmed" that there, in fact, are. Because a picture book corresponds to reality, gotcha. Etc.
#43 - October 30, 2012, 10:19 AM
Youth Services librarian and YA writer. Wisconsin SW (Madison area) Rep.
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Oh my stars and garters, I know picture book potty mouths.   :dr :dr :dr

#44 - October 30, 2012, 05:15 PM
You must do the things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt

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I totally saw darn in a pb I got from the library the other day. What was the title??????? But because of the word, I knew I couldn't read it to my 2nd graders. I'm in a public school and there's no way that would fly in my district. Something to think about.
#45 - October 30, 2012, 05:57 PM
The GILDED series (Skyscape/ACP)
www.ChristinaFarley.com
Twitter @ChristinaFarley

Apparently, I am a picture book potty mouth.

 :hahaha  Why can't there be a "like" button?
I also like phooey doo doo.
#46 - October 30, 2012, 06:44 PM

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I totally saw darn in a pb I got from the library the other day. What was the title??????? But because of the word, I knew I couldn't read it to my 2nd graders. I'm in a public school and there's no way that would fly in my district. Something to think about.
Really? I didn't know darn had any dark side to it at all - I'm amazed. We don't really use it in the UK though, except when we're doing bad US impressions and mending socks. :)

Amanda, fascinating to hear some of the parental reactions to books. I'm quite drawn to scary subjects for my PBs.
#47 - October 31, 2012, 02:00 AM

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Really? I didn't know darn had any dark side to it at all - I'm amazed. We don't really use it in the UK though, except when we're doing bad US impressions and mending socks. :)


Lynda, the UK is far more lenient when it comes to most words relating to the potty or swearing/cursing, I've found. As far as I'm aware you wouldn't get dirty looks for saying, 'idiot' whereas in the US you might. And using words like bloomin' or cripes aren't seen as bad, even though they derive from bad words.

The one exception to this is spaz. In the UK you'd get thrown out of a classroom or office for saying that to someone. In the US it doesn't have the same negative connotations. I've seen it used in many children's books!
#48 - October 31, 2012, 09:52 AM

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LOL, Franzilla I wouldn't think twice about saying "Cripes, you blooming' idiot!" Well, apart from worrying it would damage my street-cred. Oh that's right, I don't have any. :)
#49 - October 31, 2012, 11:34 AM

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LOL, Franzilla I wouldn't think twice about saying "Cripes, you blooming' idiot!" Well, apart from worrying it would damage my street-cred. Oh that's right, I don't have any. :)

'Street cred'? What is this thing of which you speak?!
#50 - October 31, 2012, 02:20 PM

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