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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Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp’s an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his...

GRUMPY MONKEY

It’s a wonderful day in the jungle, so why’s Jim Panzee so grumpy?

When Jim woke up, nothing was right: "The sun was too bright, the sky was too blue, and bananas were too sweet." Norman the gorilla asks Jim why he’s so grumpy, and Jim insists he’s not. They meet Marabou, to whom Norman confides that Jim’s grumpy. When Jim denies it again, Marabou points out that Jim’s shoulders are hunched; Jim stands up. When they meet Lemur, Lemur points out Jim’s bunchy eyebrows; Jim unbunches them. When he trips over Snake, Snake points out Jim’s frown…so Jim puts on a grimacelike smile. Everyone has suggestions to brighten his mood: dancing, singing, swinging, swimming…but Jim doesn’t feel like any of that. He gets so fed up, he yells at his animal friends and stomps off…then he feels sad about yelling. He and Norman (who regrets dancing with that porcupine) finally just have a sit and decide it’s a wonderful day to be grumpy—which, of course, makes them both feel a little better. Suzanne Lang’s encouragement to sit with your emotions (thus allowing them to pass) is nearly Buddhist in its take, and it will be great bibliotherapy for the crabby, cranky, and cross. Oscar-nominated animator Max Lang’s cartoony illustrations lighten the mood without making light of Jim’s mood; Jim has comically long arms, and his facial expressions are quite funny.

Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp’s an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his journey. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-553-53786-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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As insubstantial as hot air.

THE WORLD NEEDS WHO YOU WERE MADE TO BE

A diverse cast of children first makes a fleet of hot air balloons and then takes to the sky in them.

Lifestyle maven Gaines uses this activity as a platform to celebrate diversity in learning and working styles. Some people like to work together; others prefer a solo process. Some take pains to plan extensively; others know exactly what they want and jump right in. Some apply science; others demonstrate artistic prowess. But “see how beautiful it can be when / our differences share the same sky?” Double-page spreads leading up to this moment of liftoff are laid out such that rhyming abcb quatrains typically contain one or two opposing concepts: “Some of us are teachers / and share what we know. / But all of us are learners. / Together is how we grow!” In the accompanying illustration, a bespectacled, Asian-presenting child at a blackboard lectures the other children on “balloon safety.” Gaines’ text has the ring of sincerity, but the sentiment is hardly an original one, and her verse frequently sacrifices scansion for rhyme. Sometimes it abandons both: “We may not look / or work or think the same, / but we all have an / important part to play.” Swaney’s delicate, pastel-hued illustrations do little to expand on the text, but they are pretty. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11.2-by-18.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 70.7% of actual size.)

As insubstantial as hot air. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4003-1423-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tommy Nelson

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2021

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