A personal favorite from my childhood, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, is a silly and entertaining book that children of all ages will enjoy! This picture book is a compilation of classic stories that many children love and have heard multiple times . What makes this book so different and fun are the variations that are taken in the retelling of the story. Instead of reading about The Boy Who Cried Wolf, children get to read about The Boy Who Cried “Cow Patty.” Other variations include Chicken Licken (Chicken Little), The Really Ugly Duckling (The Ugly Duckling), and The Princess and the Bowling Ball (The Princess and the Pea).
From the very first pages of the book…
To the back cover…
The book provides comedic value unlike many other children’s books.
Each story lines follow its own unique transformation that is sure to both surprise and entertain children. The story of The Really Ugly Duckling begins the same as most other versions in which there was one duckling who was much uglier than all of his brothers and sisters, however, “he knew that one day he would probably grow up to be a swan and be bigger and look better than anything in the pond.”
Each story has fantastic illustrations that perfectly match the oddities found in the text. The images span the entire book and provide wonderful variations among each story, contrasting light versus dark, using collage-like images, and unrealistic portrayals of characters, especially the Stinky Cheese Man. The main story of the book. The Stinky Cheese Man, is a variation on The Gingerbread Man,
“Run run run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me. I’m the Stinky Cheese Man!
The little old lady and the little old man sniffed the air. ‘I’m not really very hungry,’ said the little old man. ‘I’m not really all that lonely,’ said the little old lady. So they didn’t chase the Stinky Cheese Man.”
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales is not about morals. It’s not about lessons. And it is surely not about making a point. Unlike the classic versions of these stories, this book is purely about good, sarcastic, fun; and that is exactly what is provides for all of its readers.