Hamish and the Terrible Poo!
by Gavin Comtesse
Trafford Publishing

"Hamish knew that his bum busting bog was due to come and there was nothing he could do."

When Hamish cannot rid his body of a "terrible poo," his family members are all too eager to help. At just four-years-old, Hamish is open to any outlandish solutions his brother, sister, grandfather, and uncles may offer. First, Hamish's older brother Cain suggests consuming ten tins of baked beans, a few tablespoons of olive oil, and some of Cain's very own fart powder. While the experiment attracts the attention of the bomb squad and destroys the family toilet, Hamish is still left with his uncomfortable dilemma. Subsequent schemes grow both in absurdity and peril, as Poppy Sam compels Hamish to swallow an explosive designed to propel the "boulder of bog" out of Hamish's tiny body. Likewise, Uncle Anthony constructs a rat-powered generator designed to "shock the stogy" out of Hamish.

Comtesse's use of alliterative word play to refer to the "terrible poo" may appeal to young readers with an affinity for bathroom humor. The various schemes employed to help Hamish are also absurd and exaggerated, reminiscent of cartoon-style mischief, in which characters come away from explosions with blackened hair and smoky ears but are otherwise unharmed. Still, the level of detail used to describe the more dangerous schemes in particular is disconcerting. Poppy Sam's explosive plan includes details on swallowing a fuse and igniting the child's bowels. Uncle Anthony's scheme describes attaching jumper leads to Hamish's backside while placing his feet in water to improve conductivity. Hamish's experiences are intended to place a humorous spin on constipation, but such details do not yield a comedic effect, particularly when the cover features a real boy and not an explosion-proof cartoon.

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