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Walter the Farting Dog Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, November 1, 2001

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Walter the Farting Dog + Merry Makers Walter the Farting Dog Plush Doll, 8-Inch + Walter the Farting Dog: Banned from the Beach
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 490L (What's this?)
  • Series: Walter the Farting Dog
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Frog Children's Books (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583940537
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583940532
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 0.4 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (345 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

We hold this truth to be self-evident: farting makes kids laugh. Walter, an apologetic-looking dog adopted from the pound, passes gas morning, noon, and night, no matter what he eats, whether it's a 25-pound bag of low-fart dog biscuits, cat food, or fried chicken. On the bright side, "If Uncle Irv let one slip, he just went and stood near Walter." When Father reaches the limit of his patience with Walter's flatulence, he decides the pooch is once again pound-bound, despite Betty and Billy's pleading. Poor Walter knows his days are numbered and "He resolved to hold in his farts forever." That very night, two burglars break into Walter's family's house, and (you can see where this is going) Walter gasses the burglars with a "hideous cloud" that forces them to drop their loot and run into the clutches of the police officers, "choking and gasping for air." The next morning Father and Mother discover Walter has saved the day--or at least their silverware and VCR. "And so the family learned to live with Walter, the hero dog. And that is the end of our tail." (Or is it? Fans will be pleased to discover the next book Walter the Farting Dog: Trouble at the Yard Sale.) Audrey Colman's highly stylized illustrations, imbued with a surreal, Monty Pythonesque collage look, are as absurdly comical as this silly story that is purely powered by natural gas. (Ages 5 to 8) --Karin Snelson

A Q&A with Illustrator Audrey Colman

Q: How did you become interested in children's book illustration? Why did you decide to illustrate this particular book?

A: I didn't plan to do children's book illustration. As a freelance artist, I regularly sent out art samples to various businesses. I sent art to North Atlantic Books in hopes of doing book jackets, and approximately a year later they approached me with Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle. I was very excited because I was a big fan of Kotzwinkle's (not-for-children) book, Dr. Rat, about the wretched reality of the lives of laboratory animals. I'd recommended this book to many over the years and I would never have passed up an opportunity to work on a project with Kotzwinkle. Of course, it wasn't exactly an animal rights-themed picture book, but I expected that we'd agree on how animals would be depicted.

Q: Many people think "potty humor" is inappropriate in literature. Do you think there's a benefit?

A: If it encourages reading and laughing, it's beneficial.

Q: Everyone is asking about the spider that shows up throughout the book. Is there a particular story you’d like to share about the spider?

A: I'm often asked where the spider is on the Fart-Free Biskwee page in Walter the Farting Dog. Sometimes I say that he's hiding in the cupboard on that page, but the truth is that I just forgot that one. I tried to be careful not to leave out the spider in subsequent books so I wouldn't have to apologize again. (Who knew that so many people would notice my goof?) In any case, sorry for my mistakes and any ensuing confusion!

Q: Walter the Farting Dog spent an incredible 75 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list after it was first released in 2001, and there is even a Walter plush toy--that farts when you squeeze it. Are you surprised with how well this book has been received by parents and kids alike?

A: Of course! It's been ten years and five Walter books in the series later, and I'm still not always sure which ingredients are responsible for a book's success or failure!

From Publishers Weekly

Here's a companion to Taro Gomi's Everyone Poops, albeit with less educational value. Walter, a fat gray dog with an apologetic look on his face, comes home from the pound with two children. He has incurable gas, and his family decides to take him back. The night before he is to go, Walter sadly devours "the 25-pound bag of low-fart dog biscuits the vet had prescribed for him, which had made him fart more.... A gigantic gas bubble began to build inside him." Wouldn't you know, two burglars break in, and Walter's liability becomes his asset. Predictable stuff, but Kotzwinkle (Trouble in Bugland) and education writer Murray know their audience. Their simple strategy just keep saying "fart" should have children rolling in the aisles during read-aloud. Newcomer Colman likewise fixates on one visual gag, Walter with steam blasting out his backside. Unlike Babette Cole, whose Dr. Dog takes a mock-scientific approach to digestion, Colman specializes in reaction shots; in her surreal collages of photos and patterns, people hold their noses and a cat glances at the culprit. Yes, this lowbrow endeavor could be a crowd-pleaser but, like its topic, its disruptive effects will tend to linger. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

My kids and I laughed the entire time we were reading this book.
Gaming Enthusiast
We both laughed,it's a really cute book especially for kids who think farts are funny.
"Walter, the Farting Dog" tells the story of Walter, the farting dog.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 124 people found the following review helpful By chefdevergue VINE VOICE on September 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Is this the greatest kids' book ever? I certainly wouldn't try to make a case for that. Does it deserve the venom that some of the reviewers have directed at it? Hardly, but some people are coming as close as they can to alleging plagarism on the part of the author. Fart plagarism --- I never thought I would live to see the day.

Honestly, if anything written from this point forward involving dogs and flatulence is immediately going to be subjected to allegations of plagarism, then we might as well take the allegations to their logical extremes. I would note that John Irving featured a farting dog in the 1981 novel "Hotel New Hampshire," which I guess means all farting dog books since then are simply John Irving ripoffs.

For those reviewers who were shocked, shocked I tell you, that the book's content was, dare I say it, a little crude --- I would simply suggest that you read the book's title a little more diligently. There is no hidden agenda here --- what you see is what you get, and really, it is not nearly as vulgar as it could be. Good grief.

As to the book itself --- it is a fairly entertaining book with amusingly bizarre artwork and some pretty amusing dialogue. An adult with some talent with sound effects could have a great deal of fun entertaining the youngsters, as I did. Books that are as much fun for the adult reader as the youthful listener don't come down the pike every day.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Yes, it's a little crude, but it also deals with something that we all have and makes it funny. The tales of Walter and his gas had me laughing so hard I was crying. Young kids will get a kick out of this.
If you do story reading to yound children at schools, this would be a fun book.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Kcorn TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let's face it, even if adults put on a disapproving face when their kids start talking about farts, deep down they know (as do their kids) that farts are just plain...funny...and something that toes the line between disgusting and hilarious.

So Walter is the perfect character, a dog who has a gas problem.....and quite a problem it is. Just reading this book makes most adults and kids break into giggles and it is just plain fun to read - again and again.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kylee Edlefsen on December 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Last Christmas, I went to find my little brother a present. He is five yrs old and loves books. I am away at college and wanted to get him something that we could read and have fun with together. After searching for a while, I came across Walter the Farting Dog. I remember when I was a kid and how funny farting was- I knew my brother would love it. When he opened it and I read it to him, he couldn't stop laughing and made me read it over and over again. Still, to this day, he asks me to read it to him when I come home and he even brings it when he comes to visit me at school! Every page even has a spider hidden in the picture- which was fun to find. This book will make any kid laugh, and it will bring any parent, or big sister, back to their childhood!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I.... You have to LIGHTEN UP A LITTLE. We all need a good laugh every now and then. If you can't laugh at this book then you are lacking a sense of humor. I received this book from an adult friend (co-worker)of mine for my birthday. We all just died laughing reading it. You are talking kindergarten teachers here. Poor Walter, his facial expressions are just precious. The illustrations are wonderful. Thanks for giving us something to laugh about!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sympawtico Dog Training, LLC on October 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I don't know how William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray learned of my dog George. Somehow, though, they must have heard the tale - like the fart heard round the world - and seen in his story the drama, the suspense to capture an audience and make their New York Times Bestseller dreams come true. They changed his name, of course, called him Walter the Farting Dog; but then that is common practice, "to protect the innocent" - I assume that means me. And they changed some of the facts of the case - again, common; a true story fictionalized to make it more difficult for casual acquaintances to put two-and-two together and identify my family as the agonists (not exactly ant- but certainly not pro-). But it's our story; really. And as Kotzwinkle and Murray benefit from its telling, here I sit, gas-mask mussing my hair, living the odorous reality of it all. It seems so unfair. Perhaps I should sue.

Chiefly I object to being portrayed as the kind of woman who would consider returning George because of his noxious smell. After all, my husband farts. In fact, he farts in bed. And not only does he fart in bed, he then proceeds to fluff the sheets to share his farts with me. It is egregious. It is gratuitous. It is, as he puts it, "The last bastion of manhood in a gelded world." (All right: I'm paraphrasing. The way he said it was ever-so-slightly more salty.) And I have never once (well, maybe once) threatened to send him back to his mother in England - so why would I return George?

Though, George does fart. Like Walter, he farts when he bathes and while playing. He farts as he walks around the house - in the dining room and kitchen. And he farts in bed.
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