Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo. Illustrated by Mike Lowery. Translated by Tara Chase (USA)- (Canada)
Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder, Book 1
Pages: 265 pages
Finished: May 23, 2010
First Published: (2007 in Norway) English Translation Jan. 2010
Genre: children, humour
It was May, and once the sun had shone for a while on Japan, Russia, and Sweden, it came up over Oslo - The very small capital city of a very small country called Norway.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.
Reason for Reading: Typically when I see a kids' book with words such as "fart" in the title I don't give them a second glance. However, this book is written by one of my favourite thriller authors and the simple fact that he had written a children's a book was enough to make me *have* to read the book, never mind what it was called or what it was about.
Surprisingly, though the book is about an invention of farting powder, there is not a great deal of "toilet humour" to be found. Perhaps it's cultural, or it gets lost in translation, but the humour comes from different directions. I thought this was a delightful, funny, well-written story.
Nilly is new in the neighbourhood, he is very tiny for his age. He meets neighbours Lisa on one side and Doctor Proctor on the other. Dr. Proctor lets them in on his latest invention which is a Farting Powder. When no real use for the powder can be found they decide to sell it as a novelty item to kids, but twin bullies Truls and Trym want theirs for free so Nilly gives them an extra shot in their powder which sends them flying up into a tree. Dr. Proctor has an industrial strength version of the powder which he thinks belongs safely in the hands of NASA to be used for rocketless space travel. But then someone steals the industrial strength powder for evil purposes.
The story is full of excitement and adventure. Nilly finds himself in extreme situations from being sent to jail to being eaten by a boa constrictor called Anna Conda. The story also has a wonderful cultural appeal to it as well with plenty of inside jokes on Norway's size and not-so-famous status in the world. It's quite amazing that Nesbo, who writes such stunning adult thrillers, has the ability to write such a fun, whimsical children's story as well. He certainly is a talented writer. I highly recommend this. It will appeal to both boys and girls, but I'd certainly add this to any Books for Boys list. A hilarious romp. This is the first in a series.