Stink

stink cover

Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid

By Megan McDonald, Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

 

Published by: Candlewick; Reprint edition (February 12, 2013)

Available in: hardcover, paperback, audible, audio CD, audiobook, Kindle, NOOK

At the time of this review there were nine books in the Stink series.

 

Life cycles.

Stink and the Incredible Shrinking Kid is all about the life of a little brother in second grade. The brother part is important because Stink is not only champion of his own book series, he’s also the sibling of chapter book queen Judy Moody. Like sister, like brother: both are eminently fabulous books for the chapter book set.

As is appropriate for the younger brother, Stink is a little easier for the independent reader to swallow. Compared to the Judy Moody books, the type is bigger, the books are shorter, the vocabulary is a tad less complicated and the humor is more active. The short chapters are interspersed with comic-book style drawings, which helps to keep the reading level low and the attention high. Stink is all boy. It’s one of the attributes that work.

There are also a number of word puns that a newly independent reader, particularly boys, will enjoy. Especially in a section devoted to a newt, wordplay is the key to the comedy.

Plot points also cover areas that will make teachers and parents grin: U.S. Presidents and science.

Kids will love the bossy, tricky, sometimes rotten big sister. Kids also will have no trouble identifying with Stink’s concern over his (lack of) height, and enjoy his friend Sophie of the Elves. Stink is all energy, action, concern, humor and days that are both simple and full of the life and death moments that make up a childhood.

What do you say teachers, parents and writers? Use the comment below and let’s chat….

 

Rare Judy Moody

judy moody book 1 cover

JUDY MOODY WAS IN A MOOD

By Megan McDonald, Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

 

Published by: Candlewick; Reissue edition (August 24, 2010)

Available in: paperback, hardcover, MP3 CD, audible, Kindle, NOOK

At the time of this review there were 10 books in this series as well as few special editions and activity books.

 

Hear her ROAR.

Judy Moody Was in a Mood is the first book in this enormously popular series about a girl with sparkling imagination and spunk. In fact, the book’s plot is quite simple: the making of a ME collage for school. But that’s just the structure on which her personality is allowed to take off and soar into our worlds. Judy Moody is that incongruous mix of character-driven and action drama: it shouldn’t work, but oh my, does it.

Judy captivates because she is so involved in life. Even in a bad mood, which she is quite often, the action is hilarious and lively. There’s a hamburger-eating Venus flytrap, a toad that pees on hands, a bothersome paste-eating schoolmate, a brother (of the equally infamous Stink series) who sells moon dust and spills purple juice on the all-important school project.

Life in Judy’s world is full of big dreams (she wants to be a doctor) and small concerns, like the fact that she doesn’t have an exciting summer vacation to brag about on the first day of school. It is a fast-paced read that newly independent readers can get truly excited about: she’s fun, daring, breathes with life and is fall-off-your-reading-chair funny.

Reynolds’ illustrations add to the text with a simultaneously quirky and elegant feel, and the inclusion of many ethnicities in the pictures make the book feel contemporary and right.

Judy is quite a machine in the publishing world: translated into more than 20 languages, she is known as Fleur Humeur (the Netherlands), Dada Nalada (Slovakia) and Hania Humorek (Poland). No matter what you call her, she’s a rare jewel in the chapter book world.

What do you say teachers, parents and writers? Use the comment below and let’s chat….