“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Friday, November 15, 2013

FARTY MARTY ▪ Picture book

by B.J. Ward ▪ illustrated by Steven Kellogg
Available now  ▪ Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing/Paula Wiseman Books ▪ Preschool - Grade 3
What do you do with a musical cat who becomes a national sensation? Find out in this humorous read-aloud picture book debut illustrated by beloved artist Steven Kellogg.
Story: Mary Jane Lemon knows that her cat is special—and she finds out exactly how special when one day, after mistakenly eating a bag of French cheese, unusual tweets and toots come out of—not his mouth—but you know where! It turns out that, depending on what he eats, Marty’s rump spews music of all kinds, and his compositions prove amazingly popular. He is catapulted to fame and a world tour soon follows from London to Shanghai, and before long Marty’s tunes top the bestseller charts!
Story behind the story: Here's some behind-the-scenes info from the author and illustrator: "We are two old friends, B.J. Ward (an opera singer, comedienne and the voice of Velma on Scooby-Doo), and Steven Kellogg (a children’s book illustrator and author), who had combined our love of kids, cats, and music in a book entitled FARTY MARTY.  As the story opens Marty is in deep trouble, and his devoted young mistress Mary Jane is in despair.  It seems that the sounds of Marty’s odd-smelling output have created chaos during a show-and-tell session and it takes Mary Jane’s voice tutor to discover that Marty’s audio output can be re-programmed to produce an extraordinary range of spectacular music.
At the gale pet show, Marty found his true self as an entertainer, opening the show with fireworks, thrilling the crowd, and becoming an overnight success.  Soon he is thrilling audiences around the world and, it is our hope, dear reader, that he will thrill you, too, and motivate you to develop your own unrecognized or suppressed talents.
“So the next time you’re watching TV with your pet, and detect smells and noises…please…don’t be upset!  Be delighted if you hear a gurgle or tweet. You might have a gold mine asleep at your feet.”
Enjoy! B. J. and Steven"
"Cat lovers finally have a counterpart to Walter the Farting Dog....the cheeky premise and the abundant silliness in Kellogg’s over-the-top caricatures will keep kids laughing." – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Order your reviewer's copy now.


janew said...

I was prepared to love this book and unfortunately it fell short due to the forced rhyme in places that disrupts the reading.It is a silly book that gets mired in its silliness, I think less would be more here.
Kellogg's artwork is unmistakenly Kellogg. There are visual jokes and a nod to the iphone etal when the audience takes pictures of Marty.
The book will appeal to some children and there will be adults who will make it work as a read aloud.


Laura Miller said...

I just received my copy of FARTY MARTY, a picture book that touts, or perhaps I should say "toots" a cat's special abilities in the art of eating and then sharing musical tunes due to his flatulence.
I set the book out on my coffee table to see what my various family members might say about the book. The general concensus was, "Well, that's interesting."
I enjoyed the illustrations, and the premise of a cat that makes music, however eating ethnic foods and making gastronomic music is a bit of a stretch.
I think younger students that are into bodily functions would still get some giggles from this story and it may act as a segue to some of the music listed in the book for an interesting lesson.
I would give this book a 3 of 5. Not the best but still enjoyable.

NMills said...

I have been a fan a Steven Kellogg for years and was really looking forward to this story. Let's just say, this was not my favorite of his books. Children will enjoy the bodily functions, but I feel the story was a little off. Sorry to say 1 out 5

MB said...

I'm not sure how to rate this one. Most adults I have shared it with were not impressed, while most children thought it was hilarious. Kids love it, but with little love from the grown-ups no one will buy it for the little guys. That's a bummer.

Rating: 3.5