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"He Sneezed On Me" by Donald Woodburn

Why I wrote He Sneezed On Me

Back in 2002 I was cat sitting a cat called Mitsi for my friends Mara and Hristo. As I am a cat lover of note I was an obvious candidate for the job. But sadly Mitsi did not agree with this theory and she set me the task of trying to coax her out of her displeasure. And one day I thought that I had succeeded. I managed to get to hold her, get her onto her back in my arms and to stroke her tummy. For a brief moment I thought that my months of trying had finally paid off. But sadly nature intervened and Mitsi let out an almighty sneeze that left my face covered in a wet, slimy, milky coloured coat of snot. And so the seed for He Sneezed On Me was planted, or rather blasted all over me. I looked down at her through snot-caked glasses and lashes and said “Mitsi. You sneezed on me. All over me. So much so that I cannot see!”

I instantly realised that there was a rhyming story brewing. Mitsi was promptly forgiven as I rushed over to my computer (via the bathroom) to begin turning a fine layer of milky snot, the story of a cat’s snot, into something bigger, chunkier and a grizzlier – He Sneezed On Me, the story of a monster’s snot.

More about He Sneezed On Me

Every librarian and student that lays their hands on a copy of the children's book , He Sneezed On Me falls in love with it. They have described it as “revoltingly fantastic”, “wonderfully imaginative”, “fabulously funny”, “playful” and “gleefully captivating”.

The words and story take you on a comic romp through the world of snot. You will be dipped, covered, dragged and bounced from page to page spattered with disgusting and delightful images, words and rhyme. Every single child from age 4 to 104 years of age will lap it up all up - with slimy aplomb! In this book no nasty adjective is safe, no snotty taboo is out of bounds and squeamish personalities will to be left begging for mercy (or seen running from the room).

And I am delighted that some of my English teacher critics have said that this snotty story outdoes my other work and shows a strong sense of confidence with rhyming verse. One teacher said the rhythm is delightful, it scans well and it is full of youthful energy! Let me know if you agree.

The Illustrations

The illustrations too are a hit. Greg King, an old school friend of mine helped bring this sticky story to life in a book. He lights up each page with a myriad of snotty colours that I would describe as carefully hand-picked greens and yellows. Aside from the endless dripping, splashing and stretching snot, you will love Greg’s characterization too. Both the snot covered young boy and his friend the wicked waddling half crocodile half dinosaur monster are a treat that produce many a laugh! You see Greg has been cartooning and drawing since he was a child (I’m not sure that he isn’t now just a taller version of that child) and his confidence simply splashes off the page in every illustration. Drawing is clearly one of his great passions, and the work he did in this book showcases this perfectly. Whenever I read the book to kids and I show them the pictures page by page, they shriek with delight and point hysterically at the pictures. You have to grab a copy of this one to try it out with your kids for yourself.

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