I have a new favourite book character. His name is Walter, and he's a farting dog. Whether you are familiar with Walter or not, you really need to read all about his farting adventures. I have not laughed at or loved a picture book so much since I was a wee tot reading Graeme Base.
There are five Walter books in this hilarious picture book series - Walter the Farting Dog; Walter the Farting Dog: Trouble at the Yard Sale; Rough Weather Ahead for Walter the Farting Dog; Walter the Farting Dog Goes on a Cruise; and Walter the Farting Dog: Banned from the Beach. I hear now there is also going to be a movie in 2013. Not sure how well it will translate to the screen (anyone remember the Garfield movie?) but I can see the appeal.
I guess it would be easy to run with the easy humour idea of a farting dog, but these books are warm, genuinely hilarious, witty and Walter such a lovable creation, despite his frequent troubles with gas. The books are also quite irrelevant, but that's what I love about them. They are also gently mocking/ridiculing, but in a way appropriate to kids. And the illustrations are strange but suit the story so well. Everything about the books just fits perfectly together.
I love a good underdog, and I guess Walter is the perfect one in every sense of the word. Although good-natured, he is frequently judged for his smelly farts and how they inconvenience everyone around him. Often when someone tries to help Walter control his problem, it just makes it worse. And then something happens and Walter will save the day with his enormous gas build-up. A dog who saves the day by farting - you've just got to love it.
Pretty much the perfect picture book, and hits all the right notes for kids. I just adore Walter the Farting Dog!