[Review Copy Courtesy of Candied Plums]
You’ll never believe how much this book will make you care about a snail and his fart. You’ll be awed at how beautifully illustrated and how compellingly told this unusual picture book is. You’ll laugh, the kids will laugh, and you’ll find yourself amazed at how creative and touching The Peanut Fart is.
The Peanut Fart combines stunning artwork and profound humor in such a creative and unique story that I didn’t know how to react at first. After reading it again and again, I couldn’t get over how fresh of a perspective it gives – all while being immensely funny. Most picture books either have a lush, beautiful feel to them or they are funny. Rarely do you experience the combination of the two, but this one does it impeccably. The Peanut Fart is an extraordinary and enchanting picture book.
One day Shelton, a usually health-conscious snail who only eats green vegetables, eats a peanut. After he eats this peanut, he toots a peanut-shaped fart that follows him around everywhere. Other snails make fun of him and call him names. So he takes the fart, shoves it into a bottle, and then throws the bottle into a stream. But shortly after he does this, he begins to worry about the fart and if it will be okay. So he goes on the adventure of a lifetime to find and make sure that his fart is alright. After searching for a long time, one day he finally finds his fart up in the sky. He’s so happy. His peanut fart now has a family of its own. He heads back home feeling blessed that he is a grandfather, even if they are just a bunch of farts.
See? It’s amazing! I never dreamed I could be so hopeful that a snail would find his fart. Yet, here I am. And then the illustrations on top of the unique story are gorgeous and spellbinding. The way the text and the images interact with each other is poetic — which makes it even funnier because it’s about a snail who is worried about his fart’s fate.
You can use this story to gently and humorously highlight a wide variety of important life lessons. From watching what you eat to being careful what you throw out, to not worrying about what others think of you, to taking responsibility for your little farts in life, The Peanut Fart covers them all — but mainly the lesson here is to take time to enjoy a good story with beautiful illustrations.
Other things to know: You can tell from the images that the book is written in Mandarin Chinese. The characters are simplified Chinese with pinyin and related tones above the characters. There’s a black dot under some of the words that indicates it is a vocabulary word. There’s a glossary in the back of 14 different vocabulary words used in the story with pinyin and an English definition included. The book concludes with the story translated into English that correlates to miniature spreads of the story making it very easy to follow. This is a perfect book for native speakers as well as children learning Mandarin.
My son is in a Mandarin immersion school, so I’m constantly looking for children’s books in Chinese. He’s in 2nd grade and this is about at his level. The back of the book indicates that it is appropriate for intermediate learners by ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. My son can understand it when I read it to him. He laughs and giggles and roots for Sheldon as he journeys to find his fart. He loves this book and it is so much fun to read with him.
This is also a wonderful book to read if you’re an adult learning Mandarin, because it is funny, warm, and a hilarious way to apply all those words you’ve been memorizing. I wish I had this book when I was learning Mandarin in college. Our class would have loved it.
The translation into English is nicely done. It is line by line and does a good job of following the Chinese as closely as possible with only minimum rearranging where it absolutely called for it. I appreciate that the English translation is in the back of the book because it forces you to read the Chinese and not fall back on English.
The Peanut Fart is a wonderful, hilarious, and good-natured picture book with stunning illustrations. It will make you smile, make you laugh, and inspire you to push your creative boundaries.
Candied Plums has a lot more books that are incredible. I’ll be reviewing more of them soon, but to learn more about them go to their website: Candied Plums to see more of their titles. I’m so impressed with them.
Recommended Ages 4 to 8. Candied Plums. December 2016. 28 pages. ISBN: 978-1945295034 Fiction.
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Where Obtained: I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
FTC Disclosures: Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit. It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”