From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2?This book is crude and unsettling. While its main focus is on the origin of the bellybutton, it also includes such heavy-handed tips as, "You shouldn't play with your bellybutton." The narrator speaks to a boy named Tettchan, who is teased about and ashamed of the fact that his bellybutton sticks out. The tone of the story vacillates between didactic statements and inane asides, such as, "the cord healed and dropped off?plop." The cartoon illustrations move from showing an umbilical cord attaching a fully clothed mother and child to a floating baby in utero. While the book's subject is of interest to many children, the treatment is uneven and uninspired. Originally published in Japan in 1985, this book has definitely lost something in translation.?Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 3^-5. The same publisher that brought readers Everyone Poops
(1993) now sets its sights a little higher, literally, if not figuratively. A boy named Tettchan wonders why he needs a belly button (especially one that sticks out). An unseen narrator goes on to explain how as a baby Tettchan was attached to his mother by a cord that fed him until he was born and the cord was snipped. The doctor medicated and taped what was left of the cord; several days later the tip healed and dropped off. A few details about keeping the belly button clean follow. The text is tame, but the artwork may raise a few eyebrows, especially the overhead view of Tettchan's mother giving birth. There are also pictures of breasts, breast-feeding, and babies' genitals. The latter are rather ambiguously drawn, but what they lack in precision, they make up for in number. If you need a book for belly button questions, this one has the answers. Ilene Cooper