Only for settings in desperate need of another fart book.

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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Inspiring, if all these pinkie promises don’t get in the way.

PINKIE PROMISES

Lately, everyone seems intent on telling Polly what girls can’t do.

Whether it’s fixing a leak, building a model drawbridge, or washing a car, it seems like the world thinks that girls aren’t able to do anything. Polly is discouraged until she goes to a political rally with her mother. There, the two meet a White woman named Elizabeth (recognizably author Warren in Chua’s friendly illustrations) who’s running for president. She tells Polly that she is running because that’s what girls do: They lead. Polly and Elizabeth make a pinky promise to remember this truth. Polly decides that being a girl can’t prevent her from doing whatever she wants. Even though she’s a bit intimidated at attending a brand-new school, Polly decides to be brave—because that’s what girls do, and she makes a pinkie promise with her mom. At soccer, she’s under pressure to score the winning goal. She makes a pinkie promise with her coach to do her best, because that’s what girls do. And so on. By the end of the book, Polly ignores what she’s been told that girls can’t do and totally focuses on what they can do: absolutely anything they want. In the illustrations, Polly and her family have dark skin and straight, dark hair. The narrative is inspiring and child friendly, although the constant return to making pinkie promises feels like a distraction from the central message. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Inspiring, if all these pinkie promises don’t get in the way. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-80102-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Godwin Books/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...

CLAYMATES

Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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