Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo
|Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: A quirky tale of farting, bullies, scientists, brains and wit. The self-deprecating humour (with the odd moment of scatology) makes for a great read. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 208||Date: March 2010|
|Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Lisa's best friend has moved away. The neighbourhood bullies, Truls and Trym Trane, are causing havoc. Her dad is getting ready for Norway's Independence Day celebrations. Oh, and there's an anaconda on the loose in the sewers. Then Nilly moves into her street, and the two of them meet Doctor Proctor and discover his amazing fart powder.
There are some books (and I'm looking at you Disgusting Dave and the Farting Dog by Jim Eldridge and The Day My Bum Went Psycho by Andy Griffiths) that you have to love just for the title alone. Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder is one such book, and just like the others, it's also well-worth a read in its own right. There's a healthy smattering of scatological humour, but it's not a one-joke book. There are lashings of silliness, quirkiness, self-deprecating humour, and a rollicking plot. The farting is almost the least of it - and I didn't think I'd ever say THAT.
Nilly, the new boy in town, is the star of the show: this small trumpeter (from both ends) has a mind as sharp as a razor and as quick as a rocket. He's always poised to get one up on the bullies, teachers or anaconda, but also has a heart as big as his brain. His character sets the tone for the whole book. There's a charming daftness and gentleness to him and it, that brings to mind Sensible Hare and the Case of Carrots by Daren King and Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog by Mini Grey. Mike Lowery's illustrations ably support the mood of the book - giving a general feeling for what's going on, but never dominating proceedings.
Tara Chace's translation is excellent. You wouldn't know it wasn't originally written in English (apart, of course, from the many references to Norway, and the name of the famous Scandinavian crime author making his first foray into children's books on the front cover). The plot and characters are universal. Everyone will wish they were hanging out with Nilly and Lisa. Everyone will wish they knew a mad scientist who had a magic powder that could send them farting into the sky like a rocket. Setting it in Oslo adds an extra layer of interest for those children from outside Norway, and there's nothing that'll be lost on them.
The vocabulary is clear and punchy, making it ideal for older confident readers and tweens to read to themselves. Younger readers who are enjoying chapter a night bedtime stories will find it a little longer than they're used to, but such is its quality that it won't go over their heads. It's a good laugh. You'll like it. Recommended.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
I've already mentioned the obvious choices for further reading (Sensible Hare and the Case of Carrots by Daren King in particular). There are other great choices in Top Ten Books For Children Who Think That Farts Are Funny. Whilst there aren't direct comparisons in terms of plot, Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi and Sara Fanelli has a similar sort of spirit to Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder.
You can read more book reviews or buy Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo at Amazon.com.
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