cover image Fartsy Claus

Fartsy Claus

Mitch Chivus, , illus. by Mike Reed. . HarperCollins, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-089466-5

What's that smell? It's this stinker of a picture book in which Santa's taste for franks and beans sets alight a noxious Christmas Eve adventure. Although the pseudonymous author rhymes the words with “fart,” his text has neither “heart” nor much “smart”; if only there were something mitch-chivus in place of lines like “ 'I'm going back to the North Pole,'/ Santa said. 'My butt is way out of con-trol.' ” And the putrid green gas clouds pervading Reed's artwork are more funky than funny. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)