The Peanut Fart by Wang Xiaoming, translated by Adam Lanphier
Kate Costello, 16/2/18
It was curiosity and bemusement at the title that tempted me to first open The Peanut Fart, but the stunning illustrations and unpredictable story line stole my heart. The story contains all that you would hope for in a children’s book: humor, a strong narrative, and a sense of surprise. While you might worry that a children’s story with the word ‘fart’ in the title might be too crude or crass, this story about a snail and his fart is both gentle and compassionate. It takes us through a full range of emotions, from embarrassment, shame and worry to adventure, relief, and even pride. The sheer originality and irresistible humor of this piece are sure to make kids squeal with delight and howl with laughter.
Wang Xiaoming’s whimsical prose has been translated into English by Adam Lanphier. Like Wang’s Chinese, Lanphier’s language is delightfully simple. The disarming language beautifully compliments the infectious charm of the main character, Shelton the snail. Designed as a resource for bilingual readers, the book contains a list of words and expressions in the back for second language learners. While the illustrations alone would be enough to captivate the imagination of a young reader, Lanphier’s rendering of the story is a winner in its own right. This endearing book is likely to become a bedtime favorite. Just be careful, or “fart daddy” may quickly become the preferred insult in your home.