DJ Corchin's You Got a Boogie
illustrated by Dan Dougherty
Children's book review by Steve Barancik
Yes, we're talking boogers
Just as the Department of Homeland Security wants us to report suspicious activity that could have a connection to terrorism, author DJ Corchin and illustrator Dan Dougherty want readers to report hanging boogers to the proper authority: namely the owner of the nose from which the offending boogie is visible.
In Corchin-Dougherty world, there is clearly an epidemic of boogie non-reportage. Teachers, brides, firemen and baseball players are suffering. Even dentists (ugh!) and chefs (double ugh!).
They're all going about life with no clue as to why the people around them are reacting with such distaste. And here's the thing that indicates a larger societal problem...
No one's telling them!!!
You Got a Boogie
Let's face it: kids like gross. A book about boogers gives them a little of what they like, without getting too gross.
In fact, illustrator Dougherty has the artistic licks to make boogers, well...likeable! His little green hangers-on have smiling faces and bodies, and little lives of their own! The teacher's boogie is reading a book!
Author Corchin doesn't make the mistake of giving us too much narrative. He presents a viewpoint character with a friend who is, at present, unknowingly afflicted with a boogie.
The story's central (and only) dilemma is that the narrator doesn't know whether to tell his friend. So he flashes back to memories of all the instances in which people he's known have had been beset with a boogie. Illustrator Dougherty shows us with great humor the ridicule and revulsion they have suffered without knowing why.
This, the book's great middle, is where the fun takes place. We see boogies hanging from nose hairs, emerging over moustaches and gaping mouths, and wearing fire hats.
Corchin makes the clear case that the proper thing to do is to tell the boogie's owner. Their discomfort in the moment is far outweighed by the humiliations they'll be saved. As the book concludes (in its only rhyme)...
My friend still has a boogie
I'll tell him because I care.
If I had a boogie in my nose...
I'd want to know it's there!
I would too. After all, the last person to know they have a boogie is the owner!
Kids'll eat up (if you'll pardon the expression, under the circumstances) the silly naughtiness of the subject matter in You Got a Boogie. Even after the story ends, Dougherty treats us to four pages of bonus boogies:
Let's face it, parents: someday we'll be past our prime and hoping that our kids'll have the decency to tell us when our own grooming might be leaving a little to be desired! You Got A Boogie makes the not-too-important case that we should all help each other out in this regard. More importantly, it does so with a lightheartedness that your kids will love.
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