Now for today’s book, Rudy Toot-Toot, which I’ve known about since featuring my favorite book by Rick Daley, The Man in the Cinder Clouds. I helped proofread Rudy Toot-Toot, and sure enough, this boy can…well, you’ll see when you read the blurb:
Ready for a blast of laughing gas?
Rudy Toot-Toot has a special power, almost like a super-hero: he can fart. It comes natural when you’re born on a bean farm. The problem is that Rudy can’t control the timing or the force behind his special gift. His farts get him into a lot of trouble at home and school, and after one monstrous blast scares all the Beanheads away from the Toot-Toot Family Bean Market, it’s up to Rudy to find a way to use his talent to lure the customers back before the bank takes away their home. This hilarious tale about self-control (and the lack thereof) will have readers young and old laughing out loud. They might even learn a thing or two along the way…
Me again, being green. After reading Rudy Toot-Toot, I had some questions for Rick. I think you’ll find his answers as interesting and convincing as I did. So here we go:
Rick, where on earth did you get the idea to write a book about a little boy who farts with hurricane force?
That’s a great question. It all started when my older son was two years he, he tooted one day, as little boys are prone to do, and I asked him, “Who are you, Rudy Toot-Toot?”
“Who is Rudy Toot-Toot?” he asked. It was a very insightful question, for him and for me, because I had just made the name up and I didn’t have a clue who Rudy Toot-Toot was, either. I needed an answer, so I just blurted out the first thing that came to mind: “He’s a little boy who was born on a bean farm.”
It just made sense. Beans make you…well, you know. I liked the name and the concept. Several years later I wrote a 500-word picture book manuscript, which got the attention of a literary agent. She helped bring Rudy to life by encouraging me to expand the picture book into a chapter book.
I knew I had something hot the first time I read Rudy Toot-Toot to a schoolroom full of kids…they were literally rolling on the floor laughing by the end of page one. Granted they were sitting on the floor to begin with, but still…
Rick, given the fact that most grownups (well, at least the women) consider farts more embarrassing than funny, I wondered how you would sell this book to parents. So why would any sane parent want to buy their children a book that glorifies farting?
There are several reasons, but first: this book does not just glorify farting. Don’t get me wrong, it does glorify farting, but it’s not limited to that. There’s a lot more to the character and the story. You see, Rudy is a lot like any other kid: he’s just trying to figure out the complex world of grown-ups and find his place in it. After all, as his Papa tells him, “There’s a right time and a right place for everything.” And that even goes for farts that can blow over a tractor.
Rudy’s blasts have serious consequences, and they’re not all good. When one monstrous emission scares all the Beanheads away from the family bean market for good, the sales stop and the family runs out of money. When the bank threatens to take away their home, it’s up to Rudy to find the right time and right place to use his special talent and bring the Beanheads back and make things right for his family.
Thanks, Rick. I guess it’s a good thing to teach children that place and time are important. And you might as well make teaching self-control fun, which brings me to my next question. How do I know my kids will like this book?
Go to Amazon.com and let them read the first page. Or you can read the first page to them. If you read it out loud, you have to make the fart noises. If your kids laugh, keep reading and they will keep laughing. Even if you hate fart noises, how can you not love the sound of kids’ laughter?
Well, then, it sounds like Rudy can do something just as important as learning self-control by convincing kids at that critical love it or hate it stage of reading that books really are fun. With that in mind, one more question. What other books have you written for children (or are writing)?
My first book, The Man in the Cinder Clouds, tells the story of Kris Kringle and how he came to be known as Santa Claus. I wrote it for anyone who has ever believed in Santa, regardless of the reader’s age. It has adventure, humor, a lot of heart, and the story answers questions like:
Why is Santa’s hair white, and his suit red? How did he end up at the North Pole with elves and flying reindeer? How did he fall in love with Mrs. Claus? Who hung the first stocking? And why would he give anyone a lump of coal?
I’m currently working on a YA novel called Smart Alec:
Alec knows what you are thinking. Literally…as long as he can see you, he can read your mind. It’s a great way to ace tests, and football rocks when you know the other team’s plays, but when Alec discovers a teacher’s dangerous obsession for a classmate, he stops being selfish with his ability and uses it to protect Emma Whitaker from Mr. Schmidt. As Alec spends more time with Emma, his new relationship puts an old relationship with his best friend at risk…but it also brings out the over-protective-psycho in his history teacher. When Mr. Schmidt kidnaps Alec and blindfolds him, Alec is rendered powerless. Now he has to escape using something he has neglected for a long time: his own wits.
Thanks again, Rick, for sharing your thoughts on Rudy, Kris, and Alec (I love the title Smart Alec, by the way). Now I’m going to share your bio, along with the picture where you tried to kick a palace guard. No, wait. You were just marching, right?
About the Author
Rick Daley lives in Lewis Center, OH with his wife and two sons, and they all live with a neurotic schnauzer named Leo.
Rick is the author of The Man in the Cinder Clouds, a gripping tale about Kris Kringle and how he came to be known as Santa Claus. It wasn’t easy.
Rick is also the author of Rudy Toot-Toot, a hilarious tale about self-control (and the lack thereof) starring a boy who was born on a bean farm, and he has a special power…
Rick’s hobbies include cooking, playing guitar and bass, running, yoga, and wrestling great white sharks. Just kidding about that last one.
If you’d like to learn more about Rick or contact him, he blogs at My Daley Rant.
Now it’s time for the giveaway. Please enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
One final note. If you wonder why your children can’t get enough potty humor, read Rick’s guest post on Susan Kaye Quinn’s blog. I hope you’ll consider Rudy-Toot-Toot for the children in your life.
As always, thanks for visiting and please leave a comment.