Horny

The Mile High Club
Glamour in the Skies!

Horny
Emery and Le Blanc
1968

Submitter: Here is a book that we do not promote but intend to keep on our shelves forever in spite of its unfortunate title: Horny.  It is actually a 1968 children’s book about a horned toad named Horny. The book describes a day in the life of Horny (aka Queen Horny) as she interacts with all her fellow wildlife in the desert. It is Horny’s egg-laying day, by the way, and this is just one of the activities she accomplished that day. We can never weed this book because it is a work of a local author, and we are proud of our many local authors in our collection – even if we do not display some of them prominently.

Holly: What a nice gesture to keep items by local authors! (Although “never” might be a bit drastic…but that’s another discussion.)  In 1968 people were so innocent, weren’t they?  An author could name their book about a horned lizard “Horny” and get away with it.  I bet most publishers and agents would highly advise against that these days.  The most surprising thing to me about this book is that it seems to have held up pretty well physically for 43 years!

Hey – as a result of this post, the search engine spiders are going to crawl the word “horny” and a whole new audience will find ALB!  Welcome, new readers!  Perhaps you will enjoy these past posts:

How Babies are Made

Petting: Wise or Otherwise

Sex Without a Backbone

21 comments

  1. I am so glad I work alone… this had me laughing for a good three minutes. I had no idea horned toads even existed! And of course, as soon as I saw the title and the picture, the last thing I thought of was that Horny was the lizard’s name. And now my mind is bathing in the gutter. Geez!

  2. This really reminds me of a book I had as a kid called “Spermy: A Story for Little Children” (it was all about sperm whales and whaling) that I’ve never been able to track down a copy of as an adult. My brothers (who were 10 and 12 years older than me) used to laugh and laugh at the title and I never got what was so funny about it at the time. I don’t know how I ever got it where I grew up in PA because it was apparently published in the small town of Mystic, CT by the historical society. Odd, but boy did I ever love that book, heh. Someone has to have that in their library!

  3. this makes me want to do a display of well-meaning but unfortunately-titled children’s books. “horny” would fit in well, as would one that always made me chuckle whenever it was checked out, titled simply, “balls” (about, what else, spherical playthings).

  4. As kids we innocently talked about horny toads and lizards. I notice they’re all clearly called hornED now that I’m older.

  5. rotfl– I enjoyed the description of Horny as she “interacts with all her fellow wildlife” on her “egg-laying day.” Probably, if the cover were to be made into a wall poster, it would be popular with teenage males. I love that it’s staying in the library’s collection!

  6. Rob: Wow! That is an amazingly bad (yet hilarious) name for a children’s book. Also, if you’re serious about tracking down a copy, there appears to be a handful of used copies available on Amazon.

  7. Needless to say, I just bought a copy from Amazon–for our family’s “Dirty Bingo”/”Yankee Swap” card game we play at Xmas. (We wrap up cheesy gifts, and play a card game to win them.) This will be a HUGE hit–I can just hear the guffaws when the gift is opened.

    BTW, last year’s theme was Awful Library Books. I got the idea from the titles here, bought them cheap on Amazon, and wrapped them up (after inserting $1-$2 as consolation prizes). Eveyrone LOVED them! They even wanted to keep the books! The Sex Lives of Animals w/o Backbones was the fave, followed closely by A Passion for Donkeys…:-)

  8. Title aside, this book intrigues me. The cover would indicate that ‘Horny’ has not been particularly anthropomorphised, although referring to her as ‘Queen Horny’ is a little disconcerting (lizards have monarchy?). Actually, I’d love to google ‘Queen Horny’, but suspect I’d be fired immediately!

  9. Publishers today would certainly shy away from a book title like this, and yet we’ve got the whole Walter the Farting Dog series on display.

  10. @Barbara–that is freakin’ awesome! I once gave old Tarzan movies (VHS) as a “white elephant” swap gift, and they were “stolen” over and over! It was hilarious! Our regional school library group has a “nice” Yankee swap. Boy! Would things liven up with awful library books!

  11. By the way, it was second grade in the 60’s, and Ray was the “bad boy,” but I thought he was cool because he showed me his horny toad!

  12. Here in New Zealand is a book about a dolphin that took up residence at a beach called Opononi. He was nicknamed Opo and a book was written about him in 1956. It was reprinted many times but the title nowadays raises eyebrows amongst the kids – ‘Opo, the gay dolphin’. Even when it was republished the author (now elderly) refused to allow the title to be altered. And yes, it’s still readily available in public and school libraries!

  13. Unfortunate names in classic childrens’ books:

    I am slightly worried about “Dogger”, but it is a work of genius and my qualms do not prevent me reading it to children at library Storytime and on school visits. None of the parents have ever complained (or laughed), so maybe it’s just me?

    Enid Blyton is known to be full of ‘queer old uncles’, but they have been completely rewritten for each succeeding generation, so only early editions at Granny’s house will still contain such delicious doubles entendres.

    In Arthur Ransom’s “Swallows & Amazons” series one of the (1920s/30s) protagonists is called Titty. These adventure stories have been largely supplanted by the likes of Harry Potter, but can still be found on library shelves. I remember a father wistfully pointing them out to his daughter while she checked out a whole pile of Judy Blumes & Jacqueline Wilsons, saying ‘I used to like those when I was your age…’ Bye bye Titty.

    (I am NOT amused by Judy B’s use of my own name.)

  14. I remember this book! It was in my school library when I was in first grade.

    I found it shortly before “come as a favorite book character” day. Armed with the knowledge that 1) Horned toads were awesome and 2) my mother could make *anything*, I was . . . Horny. Years later, my mother filled me in on the reactions of the various teachers — evidently I was a single-entendre hit.

  15. Hello,

    Can anyone tell me how to buy a book like this named Horny. Why I had one that lived in my back yard in california, I loved hiim so much, wild yes but I could pick (mine was named ) Bloody Bones he or she would spit at other people but not me. I think it was because I would carry Bloody Bones to where the ant nest where. anyway, I think this is a book I read as a child that when we moved, and we did move around a lot it was left behind.

    So anyone please tell me where I can buy this book? I would love to have a copy of it.
    Thank you very much.

  16. Hello, I have not heard any kind of response back. So I guess this book no longer is avaible.
    I have to say I am very sad about this.

    Thank you all very much for your help with this matter.

    L

  17. Re: “Horny” by Emery and LeBlanc

    Oh, jeez, I remember borrowing this book from our local library just so my sister and I could crack up at the title! 😀
    (I was thinking of looking it up on amazon but with a title like that God only knows what I’d get for recommendations, lol)

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