Published:13th November 2017
Publisher: Penguin Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia
Format: Hard Cover Picture Book courtesy of the publisher
A sweet, funny story about accepting yourself and finding a friend who loves you just the way you are. Mostly, though, it’s about a fart. And fart jokes. Loooots of fart jokes.
Fart is excited! He’s desperate to make friends and have fun. But no one likes a fart. Not even a fart with a heart. Too smelly. Too embarrassing. Too gross.
Zoë has written lots of grown-up books, none of which mention a single fart. She is the mother of two little people and a cat with a permanently cranky face. She wants it known that despite writing this book, she still doesn’t like farts, even if her husband Tooty McFluffson refuses to acknowledge this.
In full disclosure, I adore Zoe Foster Blake’s adult rom-coms. I’ve gobbled each and every one of them up and my eyes were glued to the Australian Tv-Series adaption of The Wrong Girl. So needless to say when this picture book turned up as a review copy from the publisher, I was both intrigued and confused as I wasn’t aware Foster Blake had moved into picture books.
Move over Aaron Blabey’s Pig The Pug, there is a new Australian picture book making waves this Christmas. In just over two weeks since Zoe Foster Blake’s first foray into picture books was launched, Australian shoppers have gobbled up No One Likes A Fart and made it possibly one of the most popular and biggest picture books to have this Christmas. Having been sent a copy from the Publisher, Penguin Random House Australia, I can totally understand why.
Everywhere you look these days, there are picture books filling the shelves of bookstores trying to engage children, particularly young boys to read. Books with titles featuring the words ‘fart’, ‘bum’ and ‘spew’ are taking over the shelves at an alarming rate, and yet it’s this latest edition from Zoe Foster Blake that is taking the booksellers and shoppers by storm this Christmas and rightly so.
No One Likes A Fart is a comprehensive story about a Fart whose life has just begun (yes, he gets farted on to the pages) and who is looking to find some friends and find his place in the world. Through a bunch of trials and misunderstandings, Fart is wafted through houses, buses, cafes and even back alley’s unable to find anyone to like him for him – bad smell and all. Rejected on all accounts, Fart is forced to come face to face with some hard truths about himself and the world at large, until he meets Burp, a girl much like himself and his new best friend.
What I loved about this book was not only how Zoe Foster Blake’s text and Adam Nickel’s illustrations complement each other so effortlessly, but also how poignant this story is and how they conveyed it with just the right amount of humour and seriousness. Here is a story about fitting in, learning to love and accept yourself for who you are and the often painful realisation that the world isn’t the nicest of places sometimes. It’s a book perfect for young and old and filled with some typically gross toilet humour (it is a book about farts after all), it is sure to leave readers of all ages laughing.
Zoe Foster Blake’s text is rather simple and effective. With sentences tending to consist of easy to understand language and shorter and snappier sentences. It’s printed in black bold text that is both clear and well placed around the pages. Adam Nickel’s illustrations are full double page illustrations with bold black outlines and typically consist of a more drab, but appropriate, sepia style colour palette of brown, orange, poo-green and blacks. The little farts themselves are presented as clouds with stick arms and legs and the most expressive little faces that make you want to hug them if they weren’t just drawings in a book.
No One Likes A Fart is a poignant book that relies on the right balance of toilet humour to entice young readers into its pages where a more serious, but perfectly balanced message of self-worth, respect and acceptance await their little ears and eyes. It’s the type of book, children will keep reaching for and will form an integral part of bedtime stories with a soundtrack of laughter thrown in for good measure.
To purchase a copy of No One Likes A Fart, visit the following online retailers:
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