U is for Underwear?

I went to a Barns & Noble picture book section last Sunday for research (oh, who am I kidding? For fun!) where I saw London and I saw France… Meaning, I picked up on a peculiar trend.

Underwear

While hunting for a copy of Creepy Carrots to show my boyfriend, I lost count of the number of covers that donned the unmentionables. What gives?

For starters, we have Todd Doodler to thank for the prominent Bear in Underwear series, which, in addition to being silly, appears to be a tool for encouragement and positive associations for children who are transitioning to their big kid pants.

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But the underwear didn’t stop at bear. Oh no. For there were even more unnecessarily dressed creatures gracing the cover of Animals in Underwear ABC, by Todd Parr. Why are all the Todds of the kid lit world conspiring to write about underwear?!

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Breaking with my Todd conspiracy theory are author Laura Gehl and illustrator Tom Lichtenheld (of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site fame). But judging by this cover, I’d say that this underwear trend is getting a little crazy.

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Also popular were the more predictable staples such as pirates and dinosaurs.

As well as books depicting each plus underpants.

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Oh, come on! Now you’ve just gone too far.

What trends have you noticed in children’s literature lately?

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