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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A deliciously sweet reminder to try one’s unique best.

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THE SMART COOKIE

From the Food Group series

This smart cookie wasn’t alwaysa smart cookie.

At the corner of Sweet Street stands a bakery, which a whole range of buns and cakes and treats calls home, including a small cookie who “didn’t feel comfortable speaking up or sharing” any ideas once upon a time. During the early days of gingerbread school, this cookie (with sprinkles on its top half, above its wide eyes and tiny, smiling mouth) never got the best grades, didn’t raise a hand to answer questions, and almost always finished most tests last, despite all best efforts. As a result, the cookie would worry away the nights inside of a cookie jar. Then one day, kind Ms. Biscotti assigns some homework that asks everyone “to create something completely original.” What to do? The cookie’s first attempts (baking, building a birdhouse, sculpting) fail, but an idea strikes soon enough. “A poem!” Titling its opus “My Crumby Days,” the budding cookie poet writes and writes until done. “AHA!” When the time arrives to share the poem with the class, this cookie learns that there’s more than one way to be smart. John and Oswald’s latest installment in the hilarious Food Group series continues to provide plenty of belly laughs (thanks to puns galore!) and mini buns of wisdom in a wholly effervescent package. Oswald’s artwork retains its playful, colorful creative streak. Although slightly less effective than its predecessors due to its rather broad message, this one’s nonetheless an excellent addition to the menu.(This book was reviewed digitally.)

A deliciously sweet reminder to try one’s unique best. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-304540-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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Not astonishingly go-out-and-buy-it-at-graduation inspirational, but all it takes is one seed of change to be planted.

GOING PLACES

Imagination soars—quite literally—when a little girl follows her own set of rules.

Every year Oak Hill School has a go-kart race called the Going Places contest. Students are given identical go-kart kits with a precise set of instructions. And of course, every single kart ends up exactly the same. Every one, that is, except Maya’s. Maya is a dreamy artist, and she would rather sketch birds in her backyard than get caught up in the competition. When she finally does start working, she uses the parts in the go-kart box but creates something completely different. No one ever said it had to be a go-kart. Maya’s creative thinking inspires Rafael, her neighbor (and the most enthusiastic Going Places contestant), to ask to team up. The instructions never say they couldn’t work together, either! An ode to creativity and individuality to be sure, but the Reynolds brothers are also taking a swipe at modern education: Endless repetition and following instructions without question create a culture of conformity. Hopefully now, readers will see infinite possibility every time the system hands them an identical go-kart box.

Not astonishingly go-out-and-buy-it-at-graduation inspirational, but all it takes is one seed of change to be planted. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-6608-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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