Johnny steps into his new bathing suit

The swimsuit that Mama got you for this summer is the best one ever.

Birthday Suit by Olive Senior, paintings by Eugenie Fernandes c.2012, Annick Press $8.95 US & Canada 32 pages

The swimsuit that Mama got you for this summer is the best one ever.

It’s your favorite color, first of all. It fits just right, not too tight on your tummy and not too saggy in the bottom. It’s perfect for making sandcastles on the beach and sprinkler runs in the yard. Yep, you have a new swimsuit and you love to wear it.

If you can remember back, though, there was one swimsuit you were born with and it was great — but not everyone wanted to see it. In the new book Birthday Suit by Olive Senior, illustrations by Eugenie Fernandes, a little boy enjoys showing off his own tan-colored suit.

More than anything in the world, three-year-old Johnny liked to run around without any clothes on. He liked it because the weather was warm, and he liked to wake up every morning and run down to the beach to poke his toes into the ocean and say “Hello” to the sea. He’d known the ocean since he was a little baby. They were old friends, and the fishes didn’t mind what he wore (or didn’t wear).

But Johnny’s mother said Johnny was getting to be way too old to run around with no clothes. Being naked was OK for babies, but Johnny was a big boy. She bought him some fancy red swim trunks, and they were just right for a kid like him.

But the second Mama wasn’t watching, off came the fancy red swim trunks and Johnny was back in the ocean, wearing nothing but sand and water.

Johnny’s mother said that wouldn’t do.

She tried everything — bows and buttons, strips and zips and rrrrrrrrripping stuff, strings and things that tie — but Johnny could wiggle out of any kind of clothes she put on him. And that’s what he did, until Mama brought home a pair of overalls. They snapped on tight and they made Johnny cry. Even the fish hated those overalls. Even the ocean hated them, so Johnny figured out a way to escape.

But then Johnny’s dad had an idea. It was a big idea, a reaching-for-the-mangoes idea, a going-to-school idea that made overalls and red fancy swim trunks feel absolutely perfect to a growing-up boy…

Got a kid who likes to get his undies in a bundle, as long as he doesn’t have to wear them? Then this really cute book is a must-have in your house.

Every toddler who’s ever peeled off his clothes and raced through the room will love this story because author Olive Senior’s mischievous main character also knows the freedom of frolicking in the foam without his pants. I was charmed by this little book and its gentle lesson, and I loved the colorful illustrations by artist Eugenie Fernandes, which help to underscore it.

Yes, this book is tasteful, it’s cute, and though it’s meant for three- to five-year-old streakers, I think it’ll make adults smile, too. If your child needs to just hold his britches, Birthday Suit will suit him just fine.

Just Posted

Wet conditions hampering haying efforts

Crops throughout central Alberta doing decently for now

New support line available for Alberta farmers

AgSafe Alberta hotline there to help navigate new farm rules and regulations

Work well underway transforming former Kinsmen Centre to new Hammy’s Spirits

Update on construction, background on sale, Hammy’s Spirits

PHOTO: Big hearted donation

Local franchise assists programming for youth

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Too much time on social media can hurt teens’ mental health: study

Researchers conducted a four-year survey of more than 3,800 adolescents between Grades 7 and 11

Advocates want charges in horse deaths during Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races

Chuckwagon races are a nightly spectacle during the Stampede, a 10-day annual celebration of western life

Health Canada revokes licences of B.C.-based pot producer Agrima Botanicals

The agency said it notified the company of a suspension in November due to non-compliance with regulations

Deals, protests during Amazon Prime Day

The Seattle-based e-commerce behemoth says it is offering more than a million deals

Most Read