Friday, April 3, 2009

Stinky: A Toon Book by Eleanor Davis

Stinky (Toon Books) by Eleanor Davis
2009 Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor Book

Review by Erica Moore

Stinky is a monster who lives in a swamp with his pet toad Wartbelly. It's a wonderful place with a bottomless pit, a possum tree, stinky mud, and lots of animal friends. Wonderful that is until a kid named Nick builds a tree house in the swamp. Stinky can't believe a kid would like his swamp because kids like baths, being clean, candy, and apples. Stinky tries to discourage Nick from playing in the swamp by placing Wartbelly in the tree house, hiding Nick's hammer, and trying to scare him. All of these attempts fail, but then one day Nick isn't in the swamp and Stinky feels bad. He might even miss Nick. What is Stinky to do?

This is a nice story about friendship and finding friends in people or monsters that you might not expect. There is a lot of humor, and it's clear where the story is going but that is part of the charm. Stinky is not scary, and Nick might not be a typical kid. Both of them have misconceptions about each other and are also curious about each other. They become friends of course, and in the last panels of the comic, Stinky tries one of Nick's apples and loves it. Stinky immediately offers Nick a pickled onion. The comic ends before Nick takes a bite. I did want to see if he would like it or not.

Image courtesy of RAW Junior, LLC

The art work is wonderful. There is a lot of detail without it feeling cluttered or cramped. I loved the frogs, possums, and rats greeting Stinky as they go about their daily business. There are mini glimpses into the activities of the other swamp inhabitants as you follow Stinky and Nick through the story. The colors are muted and perfect for a swamp or forest. The characters have a round quality to them which creates a soft feeling. There is often only one character speaking per panel, and this makes it easier for beginning readers to know who is speaking and not to be confused about which bubble to read first. The language is simple, and there is enough word repetition for beginning readers.

There is also a nice map on the back end papers of the swamp and its landmarks (another example of the great details in this book). This is a nice jumping off place to create a map of your neighborhood, park, or some other special place. Kids also might have fun remembering when they met a friend for the first time.

Toon Books have been very successful in publishing high interest and quality comics for beginning readers. Stinky has appeal for both boys and girls. I look forward to more comics from Eleanor Davis.

See more sample pages, and download a lesson plan and activity sheet at the Toon Books Website.

More Info:
Publisher: Toon Books, RAW Junior LLC ( 2008)
Age ranage: 4-8, grades, K-2
ISBN 13: 978-0-97799238-4-5
ISBN 10: 0-9799238-4-0
Source: Review copy from publisher

1 comment:

  1. thank you so much! I have been trying to give my children the love for Literature my wife and I have, it's been a hard work and this book seems like a good start!