HomeBooks by AgeAges 0-3Illustration Inspiration: Marty Kelley, Almost Everybody Farts
Illustration Inspiration Marty Kelley Almost Everybody Farts2

Illustration Inspiration: Marty Kelley, Almost Everybody Farts

The Children’s Book Review | June 11, 2017

Writer and illustrator Marty Kelley lives in NH. His picture book, Twelve Terrible Things (Tricycle Press), received a starred review in School Library Journal and a glowing write-up in The New York Times by none other than Lemony Snickett. Author Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff) called it, “An inspired work of dark humor.” Marty is a popular speaker who visits over 150 schools a year throughout New England and beyond. Marty has been a second-grade teacher, a drummer, and a baker, but by far his favorite job has been writing and illustrating children’s books.

I make art because …

Like so many other artists; I have to. I love to create new worlds and new characters to populate them with. I find that the process of creating art is an odd juxtaposition of relaxation and stress that I really enjoy.

Marty Kelley wizard-face-1-no-wordsMy latest published book is …

Almost Everybody Farts. It’s a rhyming picture book and, even though it hasn’t been classified as such, I am going to argue that it is my first non-fiction book.

Art medium used …

Almost all of my work up until the last year or so has been watercolor and pencil. Recently, I have begun integrating chalk and toned paper in my work.

Artistic process …

I start by staring at a blank page in my sketchbook for a few hours. Then I take a walk in the woods. Then I have some lunch. Then I stare at my sketchbook some more until the mail arrives and I see the bills.

At that point I pick up a pencil and get busy.

All my art starts out as a series of thumbnail sketches where I work out the composition. When I am happy with the plan, I do a detailed drawing in pencil. That drawing is then transferred to watercolor paper (I prefer Arches 140# cold-press, for those who might be interested). I stretch the paper and start painting. When it is finished, I adjust pencil lines and add some chalk to accentuate textures and highlights.

Marty Kelley turtle-step-toned-tan-web_orig
I am inspired by …

The work of other artists who make art that I would never attempt, in ways that I would never consider. I am constantly amazed by how differently everybody creates.

My favorite place to create & illustrate is …

I have a lovely studio in my home that I built. It’s my own space where I can create with abandon. In the summer, I generally relocate to the screened porch on the back of our house. I love being outside.

My most used art supply or tool is …

A plain old 2b pencil and a hand-held pencil sharpener.

Illustrator idols …

P.J. Lynch; Paul Kidby; Matt Falkner; David Wiesner; Sergio Martinez

All-time favorite children’s book I didn’t illustrate…

Mother Bruce by Ryan Higgins. To me, it is the perfect picture book. It’s funny, engaging, touching, and brilliantly illustrated. But don’t tell him I said that, it will totally go to his head.

A literary character to create art with …

I would love to create art with P.G. Woodhouse’s character, Bertie Wooster. I’m not sure how much art we’d make, but it would sure be a lot of fun.

Currently working on …

Books 5-8 in the Molly Mac chapter book series that I wrote and illustrated. Also, a top-secret picture book project involving a boy, a dog, a jet pack, missing undies, and a very angry next door neighbor.


Connect with Marty Kelley …


Almost Everybody FartsAlmost Everybody Farts

Written and Illustrated by Marty Kelley

Publisher’s Synopsis: Grandmas fart. Teachers fart. Terrifying creatures fart. But . . . is there someone who DOESN’T fart?

With sly humor, this fun picture book looks at a subject that’s sure to make children laugh: farting. With silent farts, farts like horns, and rainbow farts from unicorns, Almost Everybody Farts comically captures the gassy scene. And only one person insists she’s fart-free: MOM! But is she? Kids will insist on reading this rhyming story again and again.

Ages 3+ | Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books | April 4, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1454919544

Available Here: 

Discover more picture book illustration inspiration and books like Almost Everybody Farts, written and Illustrated by Marty Kelley, on The Children’s Book Review by following along with our Illustration Inspiration series and articles tagged with , , and

How You Support The Children's Book Review
We may receive a small commission from purchases made via the links on this page. If you discover a book or product of interest on this page and use the links provided to make a purchase, you will help support our mission to 'Grow Readers.' Your support means we can keep delivering quality content that's available to all. Thank you!

Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

No Comments

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.