Children’s Book Review: Sweet Farts

I may have mentioned before that Addison is a big fan of the Captain Underpants series and the stage of life we are in is all about potty humor.  The phrase “cut the cheese” is currently his mantra and he recently informed us that if he is really upset and on the verge of a meltdown the best way to jolt him out of his sorrowful state back to normalcy is to “toot on his head.”

At the end of the school year he was a reluctant reader.  We read together in bed every night but he prefers me to read to him and getting him to read to me is a struggle.  I have yet to figure out the reason why he doesn’t like to read.  Is it too hard?  Maybe he is struggling putting the words together?  I’ve heard him read the Mario instructions to himself and he was on course in 1st grade reading last year so I don’t think that is it.  Maybe the words are blurry and he needs glasses.  Perhaps the words are skipping around on the page and he is dyslexic.  Upon interview he doesn’t seem to have a problem with seeing the words so I’m not yet convinced we need to get his eyes checked.  Is it just boring or is he just too lazy to do it himself?  I think we may be getting closer.

I’m making an effort to entice him to read more on his own.  This weekend I wrote out a simple Mad Libs for him to work.  I could have guessed all of his answers before hand but it was a fun exercise and he really seemed to enjoy it.  He loved reading the story back to us and I think we may be on to something here.

Once there was a boy named Goo Goo Ga Ga.  He flew in a diaper to the planet Cut The Cheese.  When he got there he saw that the ground was made of poo and smelled like pee.  There were little animals with fur the color of boogers.  The noise they made sounded like toots.  They had 0 eyes and 0 legs.  The boy named the animals crazies.  The End.

We recently read a chapter book together called Sweet Farts #3: Blown Away by Raymond Bean.  I thought this might be another good series with the potty humor that he craves.

Sweet Farts is the story of a 5th grade boy, Keith, who in previous books has invented a candy that will change the smell of a someone’s odorous gas from clear-the-room to summer breeze.  The world is changed as we know it (as far as disgusting smelling toots go) and Keith and two of his classmates now spend their day in the lab creating solutions to life’s inconveniences and running the company Sweet Farts, Inc.

In the third installment of the series Keith’s nemesis, Anthony, is back from a world wide tour after winning the lottery with his invention of predicting the winning lotto numbers.  Anthony is an annoying character who likes to rip a big one whenever he is around Keith and then blame it on him.  He is grappling for control of Sweet Farts, Inc. and tricks Keith into an IQ test to see who should run the company.  Thankfully cooler heads prevail and Keith is saved from Anthony’s antics but who should be in charge is still up for grabs.

Unfortunately, we started with book 3 and were a little lost in the beginning.  The premise was a good one but I wasn’t convinced of the interactions between these 5th grade boys and a 5 year old sister.  They seemed to take themselves a little too seriously, except for Keith’s 5 year old sister who just wants to spend the day playing with baby bunnies.

Addison’s main complaint was that there wasn’t nearly as much potty humor as he thought there should be.  Most of story the was of Keith’s angst and worry over the situations he was getting himself into.

Sweet Farts was written with the intent to encourage reluctant readers to start reading with its irreverent and stinky subject matter.  If unapologetic potty talk and gross-out humor is your main objective then stick with Captain Underpants but if your ready for something a bit less silly then you might want to check out Sweet Farts.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of Sweet Farts: Blown Away to read with my 7 year old if I promised to blog about it.  So here I am fulfilling my promise.

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