Young Elbert is at an elegant adult garden party when he hears a word that he had never heard before. Tucking it away and forgetting about it, he goes about his business. When a croquet mallet is dropped on his toe, Elbert lets the word out. Surprised by the response of the guests and the punishment he gets, he seeks advise on how to "cure" his bad word. With the gardener's help, he is able to turn the bad word into more creative and socially-acceptable words. Elbert is victorious over the word and it disappears from him forever.
I have not stumbled upon a picture book that touches on the topic of profanity until this one. So very cleverly written, it's a lesson to all of us on the creative words that are available for our use when the rest of the world is stuck on the old, very ugly ones.