Farty Marty

B.J. Ward, illus. by Steven Kellogg. S&S/Wiseman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4424-3901-6
Cat lovers finally have a counterpart to Walter the Farting Dog (whether anyone was waiting for one is another matter). Marty, the gassy hero of singer/actress Ward’s debut picture book, is a marmalade cat that “purrs from both ends,” which Kellogg (The Green Bath) envisions as a cluster of pink hearts in a yellow-green cloud. Marty’s devoted young owner, Mary Jane, discovers that when Marty gorges on French food, his back-end emissions sound like Debussy’s “Claire de Lune,” and pasta brings a blast of Italian music. “First French! Now Italian! This testing reveals,/ Marty’s audio output is inspired by his meals,” declares Mary Jane’s voice tutor, Ms. Chen, who has a central role in the story for some reason. National fame and an international tour follow for Marty, who also displays his talents for opera, country, and rap (although Kellogg’s rappers are more Fat Albert than Jay-Z). There are a few missteps in the rhyme and rhythm of Ward’s verse, but the cheeky premise and the abundant silliness in Kellogg’s over-the-top caricatures will keep kids laughing. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/07/2013
Release date: 11/12/2013
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