NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Do you want help explaining to youngsters what noises come out of their bodies? Would you like to talk to them about feelings and temper tantrums?
Popular children’s book writer Artie Bennett is slated for an appearance tomorrow morning at 11 am at the Rutgers University Barnes & Noble, and his books deal with those very subjects.
The event will celebrate the release of two picture books published this year: “Peter Panda Melts Down!” illustrated by John Nez, and “Belches, Burps, and Farts—Oh My!” illustrated by Pranas T. Naujokaitis.
The author, who hails from Brooklyn, will be reading from these two books and will sign copies as well.
If “Belches, Burps, and Farts—Oh My!” doesn’t sound like children’s book material, don’t fret—Bennett has typecast himself as the end-all and be-all for all things rear-end.
“The Butt Book” and “Poopendous” are his two previous hits.
Bennett’s books tackle taboo topics using a patented blend of witty, Seuss-like verse and scientific fact, designed to help youngsters learn about their bodies in a way that is fun for them.
According to an interview with Author Turf, his biggest inspiration is the mad monarch of the children’s literary industry: Dr. Seuss. And the title of "Belches" is a tribute to his all-time favorite film: "The Wizard of Oz."
Bennett enjoys regular exercise, and considers swimming laps to be one of the greatest diving-off points to creative genius.
“After I dry off, I expeditiously jot down verses I may have just conjured before they slip back into the pool,” he said.
“It appears there is no topic Mr. Bennett can’t make fun and educational…I’m not kidding when I say this came in handy at my son’s preschool,” the Huffington Post wrote of “Poopendous.”
“The Butt Book,” published in December 2009, won the Reuben Award for Book Illustration. Mike Lester drew the illustrations.
Apart from these accolades, Bennett has another quirky claim to fame: In 1970, he became “the youngest person ever to have a [crossword] puzzle printed in the Sunday New York Times magazine section,” according to the then-editor of the crossword puzzle section, Will Weng.
Bennett was fifteen at the time, and his record has since been broken by two fourteen-year-olds, including Bergen County resident Ben Pall, whose puzzle was published in 2009.
Bennett earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia, and spent a year toiling in the gardens and orchard of a kibbutz in Israel, before taking on several odd jobs.
He now works as an executive copy editor for Random House Children's Books, and spends his free time delivering speeches at his local chapter of Toastmasters International.
Bennett made an appearance in Paramus yesterday, and will be reading and signing at the Barnes and Noble in Edison today.
His website claims that he is always available for school appearances, bookstore signings, or pie-eating contests.