A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
May appeal to reluctant readers. Also, provides an opportunity to discuss your own family's rules about potty talk.
Fartsy humor is taken pretty far, but ultimately two kids step in to save Santa from his rumbling belly full of jelly (and other snacks).
Positive Role Models
Two kids come to Fartsy Claus's rescue. After trying remedy after remedy, they come up with an inventive solution that saves the day in a very unusual way.
All the potty words you'd expect, given the title.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this somewhat tasteless takeoff on the classic 'Twas the Night Before Christmas does impart a positive message as the kids in the book help Santa with his gassy belly. Readers who don't like potty talk should steer clear. Those not offended by the title will not be offended by the book. They, and most 6-year-olds, may find it funny.
Is It Any Good?
Some readers may find themselves laughing aloud when reading this parody; others will have the opposite reaction. Since it was first printed, exquisite versions of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore have been illustrated by Cooper Edens, Mary Englebreit, Tasha Tudor, Matt Tavers, and even Grandma Moses. It has also been a famously parodied poem. Both humorous and satirical versions can be found on the Internet, and several others have been published. James Rice has written more than a few take-offs, ranging from a Cajun to a cowboy version. On DVD, Garfield has a cartoon version, as do the Muppets and the Animaniacs. However, none have gone to the extreme of FARTSY CLAUS.
More than likely, Moore would be turning over in his grave if he knew about this version. In fact, even the author seems embarrassed. He is pictured on the back flap of the cover as an adult-sized elf holding a Christmas gift in front of his face. It's suggested that he may be writing under a pseudonym or that he is a "rather naughty elf." Either way, most readers of this book can see why he might want to hide his face. The title lets you know what's coming, so don't pick the book up if you can't find the funny in potty humor. Beyond the gross-out premise, the poetry is completely absent. On the plus side, the kid characters save the day through their ingenuity and cleverness. The other positive note is that the slightly blurred, dark-toned illustrations are entertaining and give a credible quality to the book. Mike Reed, who works in acrylic and digital painting, contributes a certain dynamic energy that seems completely appropriate to Santa's sad state of affairs.
Mike Reed, who works in acrylic and digital painting, contributes a certain dynamic energy that seems completely appropriate to Santa's sad state of affairs.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.