Unwrapping "Fartsy Claus" .... warning... this book is not for the faint-hearted or those disgusted with potty-mouth humour.
When this book came into our bookshop a few years ago in our Christmas collection we could not keep it on the shelf. We had to re-order several times so children, young and old, (and I think the old secretly loved it best) could have it for a gift. Mitch Chivus authored the book and the quirky, fun illustrations are by Mike Reed.
Unwrapping this book will be fun... first the visuals
Come out of the box please story ...
This book, written in rhyme, tells the story of Old St. Nick landing in a home where there is no milk and cookies being served, but franks and beans. He deeply sniffs in the heavenly scent and then ravenously tucks in. So good is his snack that Santa sneaks into the kitchen, finds the big pot and joyously packs even more away, until he is "as swollen as a hot-air balloon." Stand back everyone...Santa is now a weapon!
To his dismay his tummy gurgles, smarts and acts up , finally erupting....yep...Santa explodes into the air causing the reindeer to feel "queazy and funky". To his chagrin he is a repeat offender causing havoc to both man and beast.
He encounters two children, Ariana and Mike, who try to cure him with chamomile tea, Mylanta, Rolaids and Maalox, even going as far as taping a pillow to his buttocks. But to no avail...Santa's butt is way out of control and he cannot go on any further. He NEEDS to go home to the North Pole cancelling his deliveries.
The two creative kids conjure up a way for Santa not only to have relief but that Christmas can be re-instated with dignity and with haste. The next morning brings success, happiness and closure to another Christmas celebration. Santa declares the kids heroes and vows to reward them every year with a special acknowledgement of how he appreciates them for saving his butt.
This is a book that will have kids giggling, and probably have them looking through your cupboards to cook up franks and beans to dish out to Santa when he stops by your house on Christmas Eve.
Merry Christmas to all and to all serve Santa .... cookies and milk PLEASE!!!
Unwrapping the author...
Mitch Chives may be a pseudonym. It is quite possible that he is a rather naughty elf who has decided to reveal this previously unknown incident for the very first time. He may also be a father of four an live on a long island in a state that is new. You can visit him online at www.fartsyclaus.com.
Anyone seen the illustrator? Oh he's under all that tissue paper... found him!
Mike began freelance illustration after several years as the owner of Reelworks, an animation studio specializing in commercial and entertainment films. A regular contributor to The Minneapolis Star Tribune, he has taught illustration at both the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Rhode Island School of Design, and currently teaches part-time at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul. His highly textured, somewhat abstracted and sometimes zany style adapts to the needs of a wide range of clients, including advertising, design, editorial and juvenile publishing. Mike is the recipient of many prestigious illustration awards, including ones from Communication Arts, Print Magazine, Studio Magazine, AIGA and the Society of Illustrators. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two sons.
Below are his most recent projects, Le cheavalier TROMIGNON by Samantha Lefévre-Adde (Les Belles Histoires), Home on the Range, a poster for Minnesota Opera's Madame Butterfly, Smarter Than Squirrels by Lucy Nolan (Marshall Cavendish Corp), Looking for Luna by Tim Myers (Marshall Cavendish Corp), 26 Big Things Small Hands Do by Coleen Paratore (Free Spirit Publishing), Fartsy Claus by Mitch Chivus (HarperCollins), Catching the Wild Waiyuuzee by Rita Williams-Garcia (Aladdin), Come with Me on Halloween by Linda Hoffman Kimball (Albert Whitman & Company), and Even Firefighters Hug Their Moms by Christine Kole MacLean (Puffin).
Read on and read always!
It's a wrap!