William Kotzwinkle, a celebrated satirist, is the author of such enduring classics as The Fan Man, Dr Rat, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, and, of course, Walter the Farting Dog. He is a two-time winner of both the National Magazine Award for Fiction and the World Fantasy Award. He lives with his wife, writer Elizabeth Gundy, on an island off the Maine coast, USA.
Here's a companion to Taro Gomi's Everyone Poops, albeit with less educational value. Walter, a fat gray dog with an apologetic look on his face, comes home from the pound with two children. He has incurable gas, and his family decides to take him back. The night before he is to go, Walter sadly devours "the 25-pound bag of low-fart dog biscuits the vet had prescribed for him, which had made him fart more.... A gigantic gas bubble began to build inside him." Wouldn't you know, two burglars break in, and Walter's liability becomes his asset. Predictable stuff, but Kotzwinkle (Trouble in Bugland) and education writer Murray know their audience. Their simple strategy just keep saying "fart" should have children rolling in the aisles during read-aloud. Newcomer Colman likewise fixates on one visual gag, Walter with steam blasting out his backside. Unlike Babette Cole, whose Dr. Dog takes a mock-scientific approach to digestion, Colman specializes in reaction shots; in her surreal collages of photos and patterns, people hold their noses and a cat glances at the culprit. Yes, this lowbrow endeavor could be a crowd-pleaser but, like its topic, its disruptive effects will tend to linger. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.