100 Scope Notes
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Book Review: Stinky

By Eleanor Davis
TOON Books
ISBN: 9780979923845
Grades K-2
In Stores

*Best New Books*

Kids love it when characters play against type. Not only does this method of storytelling pave the way for some humor, but it also allows the author to challenge conventional thinking. The children’s lit landscape is full of birds that don’t like to fly, kids that want to be adults, dogs that want to be wolves, doughnuts that want to be dogs, cats that want to be chihuahuas, and so on. Add Stinky to this list. A purple monster who leads a disgustingly smelly life, yet is afraid of children. Eleanor Davis, in her children’s book debut, turns out a easy reader comic with a solid balance of humor and subtle poignancy. Well illustrated and fun to read, “Stinky” will be a hit with young readers.

Living in the swamp, Stinky is surrounded by all things smelly. Mud, toads, and pickled onions are abundant, and the purple monster couldn’t be more pleased. That happiness fades when Nick, a kid from the neighboring town, decides to build a treehouse right in the middle Stinky’s home turf. The problem? Kids are too clean. Kids eat disgusting things. Stinky tries his best to get Nick to leave, but in doing so realizes that they have a lot in common. The monster discovers that all kids might not be the same and the unthinkable might be possible: to be friends with one.

Vivid illustrations splash across each page, moving the action along in style. The simplified images manage to retain detail, yet stay uncluttered, clearing the way for the word-balloon dialog.

Sure to make its way into kid’s hands, “Stinky” will be a popular choice with beginning readers. I wholeheartedly approve.

Click here to view sample pages.

Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. […] pumped to see Geisel Honor recipient (and 100 Scope Notes Best New Book selection) Stinky on the “Publication for Kids” list. That’s going to be my pick […]

  2. […] Eleanor Davis (creator of last year’s Geisel Honor-winning easy reader graphic novel Stinky) takes ideas that have been done before, adds elements that are brand new, churns it all through […]