A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Despite the title, the bathroom humor isn't over-the-top, and it's well balanced with more clever jokes. It's very clear that Prince Harry learns his lesson about practical jokes as he comes to really like Sir Fartsalot. He also finds a more positive outlet for his talents.
Violence & Scariness
A toddler falls into a moat and is rescued; a man whips a donkey; mild sword fighting between knights; a fight with a dragon and battle with ogres who almost cook the knights; a two-headed giant tries to feed Prince Harry to their giant pet bird and the knights fight them; Sir Fartsalot is feared dead for a few pages.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The knights find themselves trapped in a castle with 12 flirty princesses who coo and write very silly love notes; they end up with lipstick on them. A princess described as "a little crass" calls one knight a "big hunk of knightly beefcake." The knights and Harry run away as soon as they can.
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A few phrases used as insults or exclamations: "cheeky devil," "twit," "galloping garderrobes," "butt-headethed jerk" (spelled that way). "The foul west wind" is what Sir Fartsalot is afflicted with, so you won't hear "fart" except in the knight's name. "Booger" is said quite often, but mostly in reference to a monster.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A woman asks Sir Fartsalot if he's been drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book isn't all bathroom humor; there are far more clever jokes mixed in. Plus, the main character, Prince Harry, starts out as a big practical jokester but comes to regret it when he gets to like Sir Fartsalot and finally admits to being wrong. He also finds a more positive outlet for his talents in the end. At one point, two knights are held captive by some very silly and flirty princesses who lob love notes at them; they get away as fast as they can. The battles with knights, ogres, dragons, a two-headed giant, and a giant bird are rather goofy over all, but twice Harry and Sir Fartsalot are almost eaten.
Is It Any Good?
With ogres, giants, flirty princesses, and rocs to fight, SIR FARTSALOT flies by and will probably be brought out again and again -- even by reluctant readers.
Parents of very reluctant readers need every trick in the book to get kids motivated. But will they stoop to indulging kids' natural tendencies toward bodily function humor? In this case, why not? There's plenty more going on here than farting and fights with imaginary giant boogers, and the humor is much wittier than that most of the time. For example, there's a calm discussion between knights who are being simmered in cauldrons by ogres, one complaining that he's been oversalted and therefore ruined. And there are the clever names for everything: the forest is called Knockon Wood, and Sir Fartsalot's friend is Sir Cedric Knotaclew.
Families who want some bedtime story giggles may even want to take turns reading passages, especially since some of the vocabulary will be above that of the early readers who will enjoy this story the most.
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