Across the world there are many an artiste -

But none so outrageous as Joe, the Fartiste.

The Fartiste doesn't sing, he doesn't dance, and he doesn't act. But that doesn't stop him from taking the stage at Paris's famed Moulin Rouge, where he performs his much-loved act for celebrities and royalty with the funniest talent of all - Joe is ...

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Across the world there are many an artiste -

But none so outrageous as Joe, the Fartiste.

The Fartiste doesn't sing, he doesn't dance, and he doesn't act. But that doesn't stop him from taking the stage at Paris's famed Moulin Rouge, where he performs his much-loved act for celebrities and royalty with the funniest talent of all - Joe is the man who has perfected the art of the fart.

Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer bring new wind to their mostly true story about "the man who made his pants dance," which is perfectly matched with Boris Kulikov's explosive art.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

True story: a boy discovers he has an unusual command over the muscles in his intestines. With lots of practice and ambition, Joseph Pujol becomes the Fartiste, the fin-de-siècle sensation of the legendary Moulin Rouge. "A bit of Beethoven, a song by Mozart," write Krull (the Lives of... series) and Brewer (You Must Be Joking!) in their rhyming quatrains, "A Debussy ditty-all through a fart." (Respectful of their audience's curiosity, the authors also note, "his flatulent actions completely lacked smell.") Clearly tickled by the subject matter, Kulikov (The Castle on Hester Street) employs a brassy palette and broad, earthy expressions reminiscent of vintage theatrical posters; he captures both Pujol's consummate showmanship and the joie de vivre of the gas-lit (no pun intended) bohemian world that embraced him. As for the famous flatulence, even the politest company will find its visual interpretation apropos: Kulikov draws each breaking of wind as a cross between a Botticelli-esque cloud and a comic-strip text balloon. The don't-miss afterword discloses that Pujol's actual stage name was Le Petomane (the Fartomaniac) and that his fans included-mais oui!-Sigmund Freud. Ages 4-8. (June)

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School Library Journal

Gr 3- 5-Fartiste revives the memory of performance artist Joseph Pujol, who turned the Moulin Rouge on its ear with his talented backside. The narrative breezily explains how a young Pujol discovered that he could command his bowels to do all kinds of things. His symphonic farting was purely recreational until, as an adult struggling to support 10 children, he ventured into Paris and took the artistic community by storm. Much of his act's success apparently relied on his deadpan delivery; his hilariously expressionless face allowed him to play straight man to the low (but impressive) comedy provided by his butt. Eyewitness accounts and film footage report that he could carry tunes, make animal noises, extinguish flames, and more. (Thomas Edison filmed a few seconds of the act for the Paris Exhibition of 1900.) Written in well-rhymed couplets, this gleefully tasteless tale reads easily. Kulikov's illustrations allude to the age of vaudevillian stage performance, painted playbills, and fire-hazard footlights that bronzed everything nearest them in golden warmth. (Predictably, the backs of Pujol's calves, knees, and thighs are most often depicted aglow.) The name-dropping, anecdotal epilogue spans four pages and explains Pujol's real-life notoriety and legitimacy among the most celebrated figures of the day. It's a kitschy, irreverent, silly true story, and what child doesn't love to hear the word "fart" spoken aloud?-Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416928287
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/3/2008
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 684,861
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD900L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen Krull is the author of the new six-book Women Who Broke the Rules series of chapter books as well as A Woman for President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull; Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought); and other acclaimed biographies for young readers. She lives in San Diego, California. Visit her website at KathleenKrull.com.

Boris Kulikov, a former set and costume designer in St. Petersburg, Russia, was chosen as a Flying Start by Publishers Weekly. He has also illustrated Morris the Artist by Lore Segal, The Perfect Friend by Yelena Romanova, and Carnival of Animals by John Lithgow. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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