Friday, 9 October 2015

IckyPedia: A Dictionary of Disgusting New Words

IckyPedia: A Dictionary of Disgusting New Words by Matt Kelly and Richard Higgins Aka The Listies (Puffin) PB RRP $14.99

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

What on earth are ‘bookers’? Only one who delves into this self-acclaimed ‘gross and wonderful world’ will learn that bookers are what your book gets covered in when you sneeze on it. Similarly a nose-go zone is a place too smelly to visit. And a unipsycho, being a crazy person on a unicycle, is best avoided. Yes, there’s lots to learn in this seriously weird paperback which is sure to be on the reading ‘have to’ list by wacky kids aged 8 years and up.

Icky-Pedia is sure to have been a designer – and an illustrator’s -- nightmare being chocker-block full of many different typefaces, cartoons, comic strips, photographs, black and white and grey illustrations, break-outs and more.

Boring this book is not! You know from the two vomiting guys on the front cover (and the realistic raised flies on the swamp of vomit) to the first entry, a quote by Jane Austink (‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a bum in possession of some gas, must be in want of a fart’) exactly what to expect. But it’s not just vomit, farts, nose droppings and other body excretions that excite junior rebels; the book has some factual -- albeit hidden -- information,. For example, in the ‘E’ section of the dictionary, under the entry ‘Did you know’ and the introduction: ‘Australians like to celebrate things by ENBIGENATING them’, there’s reference to The Big Pineapple on the Queensland Sunshine Coast and The Big Poo in Kiama, NSW (and there – to prove the point – is an illustration of Kiama’s (sic) The Big Potato – though this big thing is actually located in Robertson, to the west of Kiama.)

Here are a few examples of entries under the letter ‘K’: KANGAROOSTER (the rarely seen half kangaroo, half rooster. Can be identified by its call, ‘Hopadoodledoo!), KISSEMBOWELL (to suck someone’s guts out through the act of kissing. See also PSYCHOPASH), and KINGPONG (a fart that smells exactly like a giant stressed-out gorilla). You must surely get the idea by now!

Will this book sell a heap for Penguin Books? Mmmm… it’s difficult to tell. What parent is going to want to have his or her child reading aloud all the disgusting entries in Icky-Pedia, perhaps at the dinner table? Or should one ask instead, what parent wants his or her child to simply read? And will librarians want to bring more warty, farty, bummy and other gross stuff into their schools? It all remains to be seen.

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