A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What 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.
What's the story?
At one of his Christmas Eve stops, after Santa eats a pile of franks and beans instead of his usual sweet fare, Christmas is nearly ruined. His stomach grows gassy in the extreme, and one thing after another happens until two kids come to his rescue. After trying remedy after remedy, they come up with an inventive solution that saves the day in a very unusual way.
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.
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