Only for settings in desperate need of another fart book.

READ REVIEW

NO ONE LIKES A FART

The trials and tribulations of a toot.

“Fart slipped out silently, invisibly, when no one was paying attention.” It was Dad who let out the little brown cloud with an expressive face. His family is offended by the odor. “If you were stuck in there you’d want out, too!” says Dad. The little fart thinks he better move on; he would like to make friends. He glides into a room where a boy and dog play. The boy smells Fart and blames the dog. No friends here. Next Fart flies by a mother and infant out for a run—but the mom thinks the baby’s diaper’s full. No friends here either. Fart travels past two kids on a bench (who blame an old man) and then onto a bus where three different kids all blame one another. Finally Fart realizes he is the one repelling all of these would-be friends. He sadly drifts through a cafe (offending everyone) and out into the alley—where he meets a purple burp. And the two are stinky (and happy) together. This story of the thunder down under (from Down Under) doesn’t totally stink; it’s an adequate tale of self-acceptance and finding your people. Blake’s trouser-trumpet text’s a bit wordy, and there are few giggles beyond the initial laugh at the anthropomorphized gas cloud with spindly arms and legs. Nickel’s cartoon illustrations appear a bit retro and lean toward the browner hues.

Only for settings in desperate need of another fart book. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9189-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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Lost and found was never so riotously funny or emotionally draining.

DON'T FORGET DEXTER!

A lost toy goes through an existential crisis.

The setup is on the copyright page. Amid the markers of a universally recognizable waiting room—fish tank, chairs against the wall, receptionist’s window, kids’ coloring table—is a tiny orange T. Rex with a dialogue balloon: “Hello?” A turn of the page brings Dexter T. Rexter into close view, and he explains his dilemma directly to readers. He and his best friend came for a checkup, but Jack’s disappeared. Maybe readers can help? But when Jack is still MIA, Dexter becomes disconsolate, believing his friend might have left him behind on purpose; maybe he likes another toy better? Dexter weighs his good qualities against those he lacks, and he comes up short. But when readers protest (indicated by a change in Dexter’s tone after the turn of the page), Dexter gains the determination he needs to make a plan. Unfortunately, though hilariously, his escape plan fails. But luckily, a just-as-upset black boy comes looking for Dexter, and the two are reunited. Ward’s ink, colored-pencil, and cut-paper illustrations give readers a toy’s view of the world and allow children to stomp in Dexter’s feet for a while, his facial expressions giving them lots of clues to his feelings. Readers will be reminded of both Knuffle Bunny and Scaredy Squirrel, but Dexter is a character all his own.

Lost and found was never so riotously funny or emotionally draining. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4727-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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