________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 21 . . . . June 23, 2006


Walter the Farting Dog Goes on a Cruise.

William Kotzwinkle, Glenn Murray & Elizabeth Gundy. Illustrated by Audrey Coleman.
New York, NY: Dutton Children's Books (Distributed in Canada by Penguin Group), 2006.
32 pp., cloth, $22.50.
ISBN 0-525-47714-4.

Subject Headings:

Kindergarten-grade 4 / Ages 5-9.

Review by Valerie Nielsen.

*** /4


"Look at the size of that ship,” said Billy.

“It's as high as a twenty-story building," said Father.

"It has everything in it,” said Mother. "Even a shopping mall."

"And five swimming pools," said Betty.

Walter farted excitedly.

Walter's unfortunate predilection toward uncontrolled flatulence doesn't deter his loving family from taking him along on their holiday cruise. As all readers who are familiar with the perpetually misunderstood little pooch will anticipate, trouble appears soon after Walter makes his appearance on the Sea Wind. First, he is banished from the "Pet Palace" owing to complaints from the other animal guests. In solitary confinement down with the stinky cheeses, Walter gives in to the temptation to eat the cargo. Inevitably, Walter's noxious emissions wend their way throughout the ship, and he is sent overboard to be dragged behind the ship in a lonely lifeboat. Just as inevitably, the build up of gas in Walter's insides (held in check by the recently ingested cheese) gives way just in time for an amazing rescue to take place. Once again, Walter triumphs over misjudgement and misunderstanding and returns from his adventure as a conquering hero.

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     Walter the Farting Dog Goes on a Cruise is listed on the cover as Book 4 of the New York Times Bestselling Series. Whether or not it makes it to the bestselling list, fans of the apologetic little mutt will certainly enjoy his latest adventure. Once again, Audrey Coleman's distinctive style of digital painting ensures brilliantly coloured, quirky illustrations that are perfectly suited to the sly humour of the text. Young readers will be sure to get some good giggles out of Walter's trials and tribulations.

     Glenn Murray is the “inventor” of Walter and has co-authored all four stories of the odoriferous little dog. Though the plot lines in each story are thin, twin themes concerning the importance of tolerance and the ability to turn a liability into an asset can be found underlying each of the Walter stories.

     Elementary school librarians who have purchased the first three picture books will no doubt feel quite justified in adding Walter the Farting Dog Goes on a Cruise to their collection. They should certainly find that the usual bunch will be eager to get their hands on this latest adventure.


A retired teacher-librarian, Valerie Nielsen lives in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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