No One Likes a Fart by Zoe Foster Blake

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend

It’s hard to believe that farts are on-trend! 

Well, in children’s books anyway.  I like to keep up with children’s literature; No One Likes a Fart is the second ‘fart’ book I’ve read this year.  The first was a pink and glitter affair regarding unicorns and younger brothers, (My Unicorn Farts Glitter).  And now the fart takes on a more animated persona in a heart-wrenching attempt to find a friend.  Prepare to have empathy for a fart.  

If you are wondering who could possibly come up with this concept, No One Likes a Fart is the brainchild of Zoe Foster Blake.   Zoe’s career profile is impressive; I felt exhausted just reading about it.  She has been writing for magazines since 2002, is active on-line with her new site, zotheysay.com, launched a break-up app called Break-Up Boss in April 2017, blogs on beauty, is an ambassador for an Orang-utan project and author of nine or so books mainly beauty and romance stuff.   No One Likes a Fart  is Zoe’s first children’s book, with illustrations by Adam Nickel, it won a children’s picture book of the year award in 2018.  The 2019 edition reviewed here is the box set, book with fart doll!  

I will begin with the only criticism I have for this funny book.  The doll is a soft toy rendition of Adam Nickel’s illustration of the Fart.  Assuming it would be a cute version of a Whoopi cushion, I was disappointed by its reticence.  So epic fail there!   Here endeth the review gripe, and on to admiration for Zoe’s imagined life-of-a-fart plot.

In the beginning:

Fart slipped out silently, invisibly,

when no one was paying attention.

To the displeasure of his daughter and wife, Dad was the proud birth parent of Fart, claiming that if you were stuck in there you’d want to get out too!  The newly birthed Fart realizes that a gross smell is the cause of considerable displeasure, without realizing that he is the source.  So he floats away from Dad and into a room where a boy and dog are playing; he hopes to be their new best friend.  The dog is blamed for the newly arrived odor and told to get his ‘butt trumpet outta here!’  Fart is then spun out the window by the ceiling fan, and continues his search for a best friend through several sites – a park, a bus stop, and on the bus. In each scenario various members of society are blamed for his invisible but smelly presence.  It takes a few pages but Fart finally realizes he is the source of the problem and chances are he will never find a friend.  Sad!  A few pages of pathos before – happy days – someone burps a purple cheese and onions burp. Smelly Burp is born, but unlike Fart quickly realizes her aroma is not appreciated.  Isolated and unhappy, she weeps until an admiring Fart floats into her life.  And so …

Fart had found a very best friend.

And she smelled gross and horrible and yuck and very disgusting.

Fart could not have been happier.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that young children must be in want of a good fart joke.  Therefore the publishing success of No One Likes a Fart  (box set) is guaranteed.

No One Likes a Fart

(2019)

by Zoe Foster Blake

Illustrated by Adam Nickel

Puffin Books

Penguin Random House

ISBN: 9780143794493

Pages: 32; Hardback: $24.99

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