Butt Detective Series
Colton (5yo) and Clem (2.75yo) have been enjoying 屁屁偵探 (Butt Detective) series。The story centers around a detective whose face looks like a butt. The author is a genius at grabbing the attention of little children! If a butt for a face doesn’t intrigue a child, I don’t know what will. My kids are still into these books since we got them in Taiwan a month ago. Thankfully the bathroom-humor ends mostly with the title and butt-faced main character. In fact the the Butt Detective is quite refined in speech and mannerism much like an English gentleman.
The humor and illustrations are uniquely Japanese- and that is what I appreciate about getting books by Asian authors vs translated English works. The kids are getting Japanese humor and culture, as well as learning Mandarin. As an adult, I’m also enjoying this series. It makes my life a lot easier when all 3 of us can laugh out loud reading a book.
As seen above, it is drawn like a comic book, with tons of fun details. The text is in Traditional Chinese, accompanied mostly with Zhuyin/Bopomofo, as bridge books do. The content can be challenging for Colton’s Mandarin comprehension, and definitely beyond Clem’s grasp. HOWEVER, when I read this book both kids are engaged because the book often includes, as part of the storyline, adorably drawn mazes, puzzles, and hidden pictures of butts. The “Hidden Pictures” is a highlight of the series for my kids- every few turns, a page would include a number of hidden butts. Even if my younger one doesn’t comprehend the storyline, she’s still at the edge of her seat, looking for butts.
Right now we are reading these books together, but Colton often flips through these on his own. He currently knows about 180 Traditional characters based on our Sage books progress, and is just starting to put together Zhuyin/Bopomofo. Thus he’s not exactly reading this book on his own yet. But, I am optimistic that these books have longevity and will eventually be a driver to him reading Chinese independently.