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Elbert's Bad Word Hardcover – September 10, 1988


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Hardcover, September 10, 1988
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; 1 edition (September 10, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152253203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152253202
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,109,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As the only child at an elegant party, Elbert hears a strange word. "The word floated by like a small storm cloud. It was ugly and covered with dark, bristly hairs. With a swift flick of his wrist, Elbert snatched the word from the air and stuffed it into his back pocket." Soon the word flies into his mouth "like a little gnat." When Elbert is upset a moment later, out comes the word. "Everyone at the party was shocked. They couldn't believe their ears." Enter a friendly wizard gardener, who shows Elbert how other words, uttered with enthusiasm, are more satisfying than the little monster. The next time he needs to let off some steam, Elbert emits Thunder and Lightning! and Blistering Hoptoads! and the act brings him cheers from fellow party-goers. The slapstick events of the party will engage readers from the start; the image of the word as a little monster frees the story from didacticism while making clear that bad words are not necessary, given a few creative substitutions. A comic but sensible book on the topic. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4 A bad word, spoken by a small boy at a fashionable garden party, creates havoc, and the child, Elbert, gets his mouth scrubbed out with soap. The bad word, in the shape of a long-tailed furry monster, will not go away until a wizard-gardener cooks up some really delicious, super-long words that everyone at the party applauds. This single-idea cautionary tale has lively, absurdist pictures of tiara-crowned, formally dressed adults recoiling in horror or cavorting with glee when Elbert, the only child at the party, speaks a word. The transformation of a word into a visible, furry creature, makes its point clearly, but the long words offered as replacement (MY STARS! . . .RATS AND BLUE BLAZES! . . .ZOUNDS AND GADZOOKS!) are as alien to a modern child as the adult garden party with its butler and titled guests. The book may offer a way for adults to tackle the thorny problem of bad language, but good-boy Elbert, with his bow tie and soaped mouth, is unlikely to be a child's favorite story character. Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, N.J.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

AUDREY WOOD is the much-loved author of more than thirty books for children, including the bestselling The Napping House, Piggies, Heckedy Peg, and most recently, Piggy Pie Po, which she collaborated on with her husband, Don Wood.
She lives in Hawaii.

My first memories are of Sarasota, Florida in the winter quarters of the Ringling Brothers' Circus. I was one year old and remember it vividly. My father, an art student, was making extra income by repainting circus murals.

The people in the circus were my friends. I was bounced on the knee of the tallest man in the world and rocked in the arms of the fat lady who could not stand up. My first baby-sitters were a family of little people who lived in a trailer next to ours. They tAudrey2old me stories about the animals they worked with: Chi Chi the Chimpanzee, an elephant named Elder, and Gargantua the Gorilla.

My mother says I was a fast learner, always ahead of my age. My father taught me to swim before I could walk. I walked at seven months and climbed over a seven foot chain link fence when I was one year old. Everyone in the circus thought I was going to be a trapeze artist.

When I was two, I traveled with my parents to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where they studied art. Spanish became my second language. Because my mother read to me every day, I fell in love with books and was reading by age three.

My parents had two more girls, which made me the oldest sister. All of us were trained in the arts: music, dance, painting, and drama. We had a miniature stage in our basement, complete with light-bulb floodlights and a dusty red velvet curtain. Admission for the plays we produced was a bargain--twenty-five cents.

When I was in the first grade, I wanted to grow up to be an artist like my father. Then, in the fourth grade, I decided I'd like to be a children's book author. As an adult who writes and illustrates children's books, I have realized both my childhood ambitions.

I got in trouble in school once for crossing out my favorite author's name and putting in mine--Audrey Brewer instead of Dr. Seuss!

My great-grandfather, grandfather, and father were all professional artists. Since I am also a professional artist, there are four consecutive generations of artists in our family. However, I am the only female artist.

On our honeymoon, I read my new husband Don Wood the classic children's book entitled At the Back of the North Wind. Seven years later, we teamed up to create our first picture book together.

When our son Bruce Robert was two years old, I began to read picture books to him. He helped to remind me of my childhood ambitions. That's when I began to write children's books seriously.

www.Audreywood.com

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The story is wonderful and the illustrations are perfect.
Susan
It sends a great message about appropriate language for children & gives suggestions on what to do when you need a really powerful word to convey your message.
Stephanie Mallory
You can't go wrong with any of the Audrey and Don Wood books, but this one is just so sweet.
Rachel D. Flachman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By cf on August 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My kids borrowed this book at the library and enjoyed it so much I am purchasing it. My four-year-old enjoys saying and creating his own expressive words - words that "sparkle and crackle." My two-year-old recognizes bad words and is learning acceptable replacements. He reads the book daily. They both tell everyone they meet about bad words. Again, the illustration of the bad word is excellent - much better than having used a word.
Course I will never be able to wash out my kids' mouths because they now know that won't get rid of the word. Replacing it with more appropriate words is what they have learned from this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Roberta Proctor on March 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
If your child has ever "caught" a bad word, as a character in this book phrases it, then Audrey and Don Wood's "Elbert's Bad Word" is the cure you're seeking. Rather than being one of those pseudo-psychological books of the values and feelings genre, this is a lively, witty, sophisticated story that delivers its message with subtlety and humor. Even adults will love how the Woods have depicted the bad word; it's creative and clever to say the least. It also, and this children and adults will likely find enjoyable, satirizes adults' parties, poking fun at adult party foods, clothes and entertainments. Very enjoyable--and useful for the parent dealing with a case of the "bad word."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By H. Price on August 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is such a cute story for explaining bad words. We love the setting of a stuffy cocktail party. The pictures are great!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorites. It is a lively, imaginative book that is fun to read aloud. I just read it today in fact to a group of second graders and they loved it so much they all clapped at the end. You will captivate your audience and have opportunities to discuss a wonderful alternative to profanity that is logical. As one other reviewer said, this book does lend itself well to a follow up discussion or activity where children can come up with their own strong words. While I don't always appreciate Audrey and Don Wood's illustrative style as as much as others might, it is fun to look through how very elaborate and imaginative they are. You will likely notice new details several times after the first time you read it due to this aspect of the illustrations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thyme Lee on January 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My Children love this story. The illustrations are delightful. We spend as much time looking at the pictures as we do actually reading the book. I wanted this for my own library because of the moral content and the topic.
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Format: Hardcover
A bad word is overheard at a garden party. It's use by Elbert leads to abuse - are bar of soap in the mouth. The word is strong, it's still not gone. In fact it's growing stronger! Elbert seeks a wizard's aide - the gardener in a fantastical shed. A spell is made. Powerful words bearing social acceptance, enter Elbert's head. After a second painful mishap - the guests all waiting breathless - Elbert uses his new strong words and finds both relief and acceptance. The bad word is deflated and crawls away defeated. Not one bad word is used in the book. It is drawn as and angry tangle. The art work is fun. One can search for all the relevant party guests in each picture. The gardner's hut shows magical items is great detail. The sotry lends itself to inventing ones own powerful words.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very funny and has great illustrations. It's an entertaining for kids and adults alike. Audrey and Don Wood's books are always interesting, funny, and beautifully illustrated.
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By AEB on April 26, 2014
Format: School & Library Binding Verified Purchase
Don and Audrey Wood are gold in the children's book world. I wasn't sure about this book, but after we got it (used & in library binding) I have never regretted the choice in it. I love that it addresses an issue so many of us parents face, our child hearing some 'no-no' word and repeating it in public (notice I didn't say they hear it from us parents...LOL). The book has some British type setting influence and is just illustrated and written so beautifully. I really really recommend this book, even for the younger kiddo's. My son is 2 and he picks this book frequently. We have a large Don and Audrey Wood collection so it's hard to choose sometimes, but reading three a night gets us through them :0)
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