Fartiste by wife and husband authors Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer, and illustrator Boris Kulikov, relates the true and intriguing tale of French artist, Joseph Pujol, who, at the height of his popularity, performed at the Moulin Rouge, to audiences of royal stature, pulling in tens of thousands of francs a night. And what was his talent, you might ask? Well, at age eight Joe discovered he had the ability to pass gas on command with no smell! He grew up to be a baker, but to help support his wife and ten children he began farting on street corners, then filling concert halls, eventually becoming the toast of gay Paris, and the rest is history!
I thoroughly recommend The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson. It’s a really great book to read at bedtime. Some people underestimate the power of a good bedtime story. This book begins with a key. The key is to a house. In the house is a light. The light is next to the bed. On the bed is a book. In the book is a bird. Every page leads naturally into the next. It’s ordered, like the universe, which can be very reassuring for a child. The story takes us up in the sky, then down back to the house, into bed, where it’s time to sleep. The illustrations by Beth Krommes are superb. They are completely interwoven with the words of the story, portraying them beautifully in shades of black, white, and gold. It reminds me of nursery rhymes that lulled me to sleep when I was young. Check it out!
Boogie Knights, by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Mark Siegel, takes place in a castle on a very special night. When the clock strikes twelve, it’s time for the Madcap Monster Ball! Look who all is invited–the werewolves hustle, the zombies bustle, the mummies mamba, and the serpents samba, and all the while upstairs seven boogie knights (Sir Veillance, Sir Prize, Sir Loin, Sir Round, Sir Cumference, Sir Ender, and Sir Vivor) awaken one by one to the sounds of monsters mashing, bogeys bashing, witches waltzing, and wizards wiggling. The castle’s small prince witnesses it all from the shadows until he meets a ghost princess, and then they join in the fun! You can join too! Groove with goblins, jitterbug with jesters, turn your living room into a veritable discotheque with the help of Boogie Knights!
Rough Weather Ahead for Walter the Farting Dog is the third in a bestselling series by authors William Kotzwinkle, Glenn Murray, and Elizabeth Gundy, and illustrator Audrey Colman about the titular gassy canine. In this installment, Professor Kompressor claims to have a secret formula to stop Walter’s flatulence. Father and Mother think it’s working perfectly, but the farts are just building up inside, turning Walter into a blimp! One night he floats away from home! He floats to the edge of town, before he finds a way to get down, saving some frozen butterflies in the process. Finally his owners accept him for the wonder dog that he is!
The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish is by frequent collaborators author Neil Gaiman (well-known for his fantasy work for adults) and illustrator Dave McKean. The trouble begins when our narrator offers to swap everything in his room for his friend Nathan’s two goldfish. But Nathan’s not interested, so he offers up his dad (against the advice of his little sister). It seems like a fair trade, but Mom is not pleased, so the boy goes to swap the fish back. Unfortunately Nathan has swapped Dad to Vashti for an electric guitar. And Vashti swapped him to Blinky for a cool gorilla mask. And so on. To what lengths must our narrator go to get his dad back? Find out in this funny book.
Bats at the Library by Brian Lies is an adorable book about some winged rodents who find a window ajar to the public library and spend the night amongst the stacks. These bats are not unlike most of our patrons! They look up books, log on to computers, even make copies! Some of the bats get lost in stories, imagining themselves as characters (Lies treats us to bat versions of such literary stalwarts as Dorothy Gale and Bilbo Baggins). The young bats gather round for a nocturnal version of a children’s classic, “Goodnight Sun.” As morning arrives, the bats fly off, hoping the librarians will leave the window open again soon!