Review Detail

Hilariously Thoughtful
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
YOUR MIND MAKES THOUGHTS LIKE YOUR BUTT MAKES FARTS is a non-fiction book in which mindfulness meets Garbage Pail Kids. While the subject itself could seem too complex for young kids, the author Todd Strauss-Schulson breaks it down in such a way that it’s not only understandable but applicable. First, he explains what thoughts are and why they can be scary, and then gives some guidance on how to make peace with them. As evidenced by the title alone, he accomplishes all of this through gross-out humor and Seussical rhyming, making the book silly, accessible, and appealing to children and parents alike.

The book is illustrated by Phil McAndrew, who does a fantastic job at visually reflecting Strauss-Schulson’s words so kids can really comprehend the meaning. For example, there’s a picture where a child is drawing, but we see all the thought bubbles: skateboarding, aliens, hockey, etc. As a result, the reader sees how we can be physically occupied with one activity while having a million other thoughts in our minds.

The illustrations are also refreshingly unique. Often, there is a standard style we see emerge across animated shows, picture books, and cartoons. The images in this book, though, feel singularly unique to it as if the images themselves are physical representations of what can only exist in our subconscious. My favorite one is the picture of the child on a bicycle trying to escape a tornado as I can viscerally relate to that feeling. Don’t worry though! There are brighter days ahead… literally. The following pictures are filled with flowers and blue skies and smiles.

YOUR MIND MAKES THOUGHTS is a book people of all ages would benefit from as it simplifies a subject that can often feel very enigmatic, taking a hard topic and making it fun. Beyond that, getting this book into the hands of young kids could help them navigate their feelings, so they can pass by. That alone could change their lives for the rest of their lives. It’s not an overstatement to say this book could be monumentally impactful and would be great required reading in elementary schools across the country.
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