Poopballs Over The Shanty and Other Bedtime Stories
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You remember childhood books with stories in words and a few illustrations here or there. Some were stories of real life, including the real and imaginative life of children. Poopballs Over the Shanty And Other Bedtime Stories is a throwback to reading stories of an earlier time. Suitable for girls and boys 5 to 9, its a book that encourages children to engage with reading and language.
Poopballs Over The Shanty was a real game played by two boys growing up in the village of Caledon, Ontario during WWII. Dad was away, a soldier in Europe. Rubber balls weren't available: rubber had been commandeered for truck tires overseas. Two young boys wanting a winter game of catch found other round objects suitable for throwing – frozen horse poop. They had a small collapsed barn roof, a shanty, to throw the poop over. So, the game became poopballs over the shanty. When an older boy bullied the two younger boys they invited him to play their game. He got his comeuppance.
The hardcover book is an old-fashioned story book beautifully illustrated by Vancouver's Rae Maté. The stories are Poopballs Over the Shanty, Jeannie, Virginie's Woods, Soap and Water and Hot Fat Spit, and Brian's Bananas and Dad Comes Home.
The stories have been read to school children across Canada and are suitable for children aged 5 to 9.
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Excerpt, Chapter 1 - Poopballs Over The Shanty
It was cold outside with lots of snow on the ground. We put our mitts and boots and coats on and Mum took us out for a walk.
She walked with us down to the shanty. It was a tiny barn that had fallen down.
“It’s dangerous” she said.
“Why?” Mike asked.
“If you climb on it it might fall down some more and hurt you” she said.
“OK” we said.
Then we noticed some piles of old brown balls near the shanty.
“What are those?” I asked.
“That’s horse manure” Mum said.
“What’s manure?” Mike asked.
“It’s what comes out of a horse after he’s eaten grass” Mum told us.
“Poop?” Mike asked.
“Yes” Mum replied.
I walked over and kicked it. It was hard. I bent to sniff it. It didn’t smell.
“Don’t do that Davey” Mum said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Just leave the poop where it is” she answered. “It’s frozen anyway. Not good for much.
Mike noticed another ball of horse poop that had smoke coming from it.
“Why is that one smoking?” he asked.
“It’s fresh. Still warm. It’s steam, not smoke. It’s a steamer” Mum told us.
“Yuk. A steamer” we repeated. I didn’t kick it. It looked soft. It was stinky.