Saturday, 14 March 2009

The Little Mole Who Knew it was None of His Business

The above is the title of what is probably the most bizarre children's book I have ever come across.

This engaging little narrative features a charmingly-drawn little mole who wakes up one morning, pops his head out of his mole-hole and is immediately pooped on by person or persons unknown.

Our hero then sets out to discover the identity of the pooper and, in what makes up the bulk of the story, conducts a series of interviews with the various farm animals round about. These interviews invariably go along the lines of:

MOLE: Did you poop on my head?
FAMYARD ANIMAL: No, I didn't poop on your head. My poop looks like this. (And we are treated to an illustration of the aforementioned scat).

Eventually, the identity of the culprit is discovered (it's Basil the farm dog, in case you were wondering) and Mole takes his revenge by turning from poopee to pooper, crowning the dog as he lies sleeping.

A quick look at customer reviews for this book on Amazon reveals that opinion is very much divided – you either love it or hate it. Some people were offended, others thought it unsuitable for kids and others thought is was the funniest thing they had ever read.

Me, I was completely bemused by it. Was it meant to be funny? It didn't make me laugh and I laugh at just about anything. Was it meant to teach some kind of lesson? If so, there seem to be two possibilities.

1) The book is a guide to the identification of animals from their faeces (not sure what value this would be in an urban setting: we all know what dog-doo looks like and we're not likely to encounter much else)

2) It's a moral lesson: if you get crapped on, find out who did it and then crap on them right back.

The best thing that can be said for this book is that it comes with a little stuffed toy mole, complete with stuffed toy poo on his head.

A friend of mine, whose kids had been bought the book by their maternal grandmother (why?), brought it into work to show us and was going to chuck away both the book and the toy. I rescued the latter and he has been a mascot on my desk ever since.

Now, whenever I feel that I'm being hard done to, all I have to do is look at that little chap, doomed forever to spend his days with a turd on his head and, well, things could be worse....

P.S. Whenever I travel abroad, Mr Mole goes with me. The picture is of him at the Great Wall of China in 2004. Apologies for the lousy quality: it was my first ever phone camera.


  1. I think one has to read this book from the POV of an eight year-old. I love the unconventionality and mind-of-a-child aspect. (My boys are always playing "I'm going to poop on your head.") Cracks me up.

  2. Haha, I've made myself look a right old stick-in-the-mud, haven't I? Of course kids love anything to do with bodily functions, it's just that I've never seen their fascination so boldly catered for - it's a far cry from Winnie the Pooh :-)

  3. I had to look this up on Amazon--this is a hoot! And to think it's been available for years and I never read it to my girls. Shall have to remedy that:>)

  4. That's adorable. I think I need to find that book! It sounds like a variation of "Everybody Poops."

  5. I'm wondering if there's a whole scalotological sub-genre of kids' fiction here waiting to be discovered!

  6. I think it's safe to say that no matter how strange you may think the world is you can always find something new that will make you reassess!

    Still - you got a cuddly toy out of it, so not all bad

  7. My sister just sent me a message saying she has just bought this for my 3 year ls son. She SO knows his taste! Another favourite of my sons is 'Who's in the loo?' by Jeanne Willis & Adrian Reynolds. If you like the mole book, I'm sure you'll like this too! Can't wait to recieve book and I'm even more excited to discover that I get a poopy mole too! Fantastic!

  8. Have I inadvertantly boosted world sales of The Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business?
    Interesting to see there are other toilet-related books out there.

  9. This is currently my 3 year old's favourite book. He's not fully potty trained yet.... not entirely convinced I've made the right book selection..... oops! I'm not sure I get it either. Hope it doesn't turn him into a mini Gillian McKeith.

  10. @Ann - hello and thanks for dropping by. I'm told this book is a real hit with kids. Can't say as I remember being that interested in poo when I was little, but hey! I hope you little one doesn't end up like la McKeith either brrrr!!!

  11. I hate it - why it has to part of a child's corriculum for year 6 to write poems on etc is beyond me. The whole revenge of 'you crap on me and I'll crap on you' is terrible.


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