Manneken Pis: a simple story of a boy who peed on a war

Radunsky, Vladimir


Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, 2002. 32 p.


This is one wacky, and of course then naturally true, story of a little Belgian boy who is caught up in a war in his home town. And he ends the war, by peeing all over it. Yep. True story!


The little boy is nameless, but his nickname, Manneken Pis, means “peeing boy.” So let’s just call him Pis. So the book begins with Pis and his happy little life with his mother and father who love him very much. But then war comes to their scenic little town and Pis is separated from his parents. One day while he is looking for them, he has to go and can’t wait, so he pees all over the place. Both sides of the war can’t help but laugh, and soon the battle is over all thanks to Pis’ bladder.


The story is definitely unique, and the illustrations are abstract and colorful. It might not be fully appropriate for really young children, but slightly older kids (maybe 5 and up) will get a kick out of it for sure.