Stereotypically speaking… what subject matter is most attractive to tween and teenage boys? Never mind the raunchy stuff. It’s GROSSNESS: being gross, who is gross, who is grosser, what is gross, grossing people out — in fact, any grossitivity imaginable that will make you snort laughter and blow milk out of your nose (or Coke or Pepsi). If it makes girls blush and say “yuck,” all the better. When parents ask, “Ewwwwww — what in the world is wrong with you?,” it’s an art form.
There is nothing like the sound of a couple of 12-year-olds giggling about something that most adults would find disgusting. That’s why, if you know a young grossologist, you must get him a copy of Dude: The Book of Crazy Immature Stuff! It has more than enough grossness to keep him and his friends entertained for hours.
There’s more to Dude than just nauseating material. Other topics of interest are superheroes, cars, food, aliens, video games, gas, and pain. Although activity books are aimed at younger readers, Dude could be considered part of that genre. One of its virtues is that it is interactive—to get the most out of the book, boys actually have to take out a pencil or pen and write in it. That also means that they will have to think, an activity to be encouraged in all boys (and girls, and men and women).
There are lots of “what would you rather” questions that give a choice between something disgusting and, well, something disgusting, and there are questions that require a little bit of writing and creativity (“Three Dumb Things I Did with My Friends and We’ll Never Do Again”), and invention (a mad scientist exercise that crosses two types of animals, and names the final product). Also included are mini-posters, questions that will make the reader think, and some to catalogue his likes and dislikes.
Many of the pages involve collaborating with friends, although I suspect almost all of Dude is better (more hilarious) when shared. This is a great book to give—holidays, Christmas stockings, birthdays, just because—or as a reward for going one day without saying or doing anything gross.
Bottom Line: Would I buy Dude? I am definitely getting this book for two young men whom I know will find it hilarious. I’m going to give them each a copy, and then I’m going to leave. Let Mom deal with the fallout.