Kids’ Potty Humor Inspires Children’s Book
A bit of potty humor goes a long way when it comes to teaching children. At least, that’s what author Jim Halpin preaches.
Halpin, a Citizens’ Voice reporter, decided to create his first children’s book, “Big Butt Dinkleface,” after seeing his two young sons’ enjoyment of that type of humor.
“Big Butt Dinkleface” reached the No. 1 spot on Amazon’s free eBook best-sellers under Children’s Humorous Literature. It is available in paperback for $7.99 and as an eBook for $2.99.
The Fairview Twp.-based author spoke with JumpStart about the overall anti-bullying themes of his book and the fun he had creating the rhyming schemes and jokes.
Q: What inspired you to write “Big Butt Dinkleface?”
A: My sons, Holden and Riley. I thought it would be cool for them to have a book that I wrote. I know their sense of humor all too well, so I felt I would be able to write a story that they would really appreciate. In between all the potty humor, I tried to slip in a life lesson or two as well.
What is the overall theme of the book, and why do you think this message is important?
A: “Big Butt Dinkleface” is the story of a boy who is bullied because he is different. But then when he saves the day by using that difference, the other kids realize that they were wrong to tease him. I tried to convey an anti-bullying theme in the book, and to teach kids that everyone has value and deserves respect. I think it’s important for kids to realize that people’s uniqueness is a good thing.
Where did the title come from?
A: The title is the name the other kids use to tease the main character, and it was inspired by my son Holden. When he gets mad about something, he sometimes shouts out a variation of that name to express his frustration. I thought it would be funny to create a story around that phrase, since it’s become kind of a running joke in our family.
What is it that you liked most about creating this children’s book?
A: I really enjoyed writing a story that I knew my sons would love. And it was really fun trying to find clever rhymes that would make them laugh. I’ve probably read the text 1,000 times in my head, trying to get the pacing and syllable count right. It can be so satisfying to finally find the perfect rhyme after turning a phrase over in your head for hours.
What other authors influence you as a writer?
A: For children’s books, I would definitely say Dr. Seuss was a huge inspiration. I love reading his books to my kids. Many of his stories have a great message for the kids, but the fun rhymes and quirky art make them enjoyable to read, rather than feeling like you’re getting a lecture. I definitely tried to emulate that with this book.
Q: Are you working on any other projects?
A: I’ve been working on a murder-mystery novel since January. I was about three-quarters of the way done with a rough draft of that when I got the idea for “Big Butt Dinkleface.” I figured a children’s book of about 750 words would be pretty easy to put together compared to a 75,000-word novel, so I decided to briefly put the novel on hold to get “Big Butt Dinkleface” done while my kids would still enjoy it. Then it sank in that writing the story was only a fraction of the process — the book needed illustrations, editing, rewriting, design and layout. So now I haven’t even looked at the novel for four months.
Q: Is there anything else people should know about “Big Butt Dinkleface?”
A: Hundreds of people have bought or downloaded the book already, and so far it’s gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews. If you can enjoy a good fart joke — or if you know a kid who does — this book is worth a look.
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‘Big Butt Dinkleface’
Author: Jim Halpin
Illustrator: Tanja Russita
Audience: Suggested for ages 4 to 8
Price: Paperback, $7.99; eBook, $2.99