Book Review: Stinky
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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