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!
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!
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!
Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax is a great jumping off point for educating your child about current issues concerning the environment. Narrated by a regretful character called the Once-ler, it tells the tale of his destruction of the Truffula trees. The Once-ler discovered the Truffula’s tuft could be knitted into a thneed, a sockish, sweaterish thing that despite seeming to lack any utility, starts selling like hotcakes. Motivated by greed, the Once-ler builds a thneed factory, chopping down Truffula trees left and right. Enter the Lorax, a stout mustachioed creature who acts a spokesperson for the trees. He begs the Once-ler to quit manufacturing thneeds–the pollution is endangering all the local species! But the Once-ler fails to heed the advice of the Lorax, and makes a total mess of the landscape, leaving us with an “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”