on September 19, 2009
This funny picture book is about a subject that many little boys think about, but that is rarely written about in children's books. One day, while Martin is changing his clothes after swimming, another boy, Adrian, makes fun of Martin, saying that his "zizi" is too small, and that he will never be able to make babies with a little zizi. Martin is worried because the girl he likes, Anais, wants to have 10 babies! How will he possibly make all those babies?
To make matters worse, Adrian decides that the boys should have a peeing contest to decide who will be Anais's boyfriend. Despite hours of practice, Martin loses the contest, Adrian wins, and Adrian declares himself the boyfriend of Anais.
But Anais has other plans. She rejects Adrian and writes a love note to Martin. The book ends with a reassurance: "love isn't a question of a zizi -- large or small."
This book was originally written in French and published in Canada. The author says he wrote the book because he believes that "much of the world's misfortune comes from men thinking they have to assert their manliness," according to the jacket copy.
My two boys found this book a bit shocking, but fascinating. The illustrations are very tasteful (the story takes place in an old-fashioned city), and the story makes its point without preaching.
I have included this book in my online Gender Equality Bookstore.
on June 15, 2008
Little Zizi is a unique children's picturebook that dares to address a part of growing up that virtually no other children's literature will touch. "Zizi" is a euphemism for "penis" in this simple and charming tale about an ordinary boy, named Martin. Martin wonders whether one day his little zizi will become the size of his dad's zizi; it's normal for young boys to wonder that. But then a locker room bully named Adrian makes fun of Martin's little zizi in front of all the other boys. To make matters worse, both Martin and Adrian are sweet on Anais, the prettiest girl in school. Adrian challenges Martin to the contest - whoever can pee the farthest wins! When Martin can't perform in the contest despite his practice, Adrian is victorious; yet the next day, Anais repudiates Adrian's affections. She prefers the kindly Martin, "Because love isn't a question of a zizi - large or small." Enthusiastically recommended, especially for mothers and fathers to share with their sons when teaching them about the facts of life.