When writer Deanna Kent and her partner, illustrator Neil Hooson, decided to shut down the family TV and spend their off-work hours together creating a children’s book, they knew it wouldn’t be easy.
As a professional, working couple in Kelowna with four sons between them, the pair doesn’t have much spare time.
So they consciously got rid of distractions such as TV and spent more than 18 months working every night after the kids went to bed to make their creative project happen.
“We had a dream to create a funny book series for kids,” said Kent.
“We listened to what the boys were talking and laughing about, and we realized dinner table conversation often revolves around topics like farts.
“So we embraced it and turned the gross stuff into a new species that became the subject of the book. It’s a field guide—but not the kind you’ve seen on your grandmother’s bookshelf.”
In Field Guide to Farts Volume 1: Fartanimals Discovered, 12-year-old Artemis U. Flatsch inherits a mysterious letter from his grandfather and sets off on a global quest to find and document the never-before-seen species: Fartanimals.
As Artemis captures new specimens, he documents them like any good scientist would, jotting down their statistics and special powers.
Although the story, told through the main character’s journal entries, was clearly influenced by the toilet humour favoured by young boys everywhere, and popularized by the Captain Underpants book series, Kent is quick to point out the book is much more than a collection of jokes about bodily functions.
“Our boys love a good adventure and it was important to us to create a story that would resonate with them on multiple levels. This book is a classic tale of adventure, with a hero who goes on a quest and must overcome an evil enemy and a series of obstacles and challenges along the way.”
The new e-book was recently featured on the Canadian Apple iBookstore New and Notable list in the Children & Teen category. Kent and Hooson plan to release Volume 2 in early 2013.