CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 26. . . .March 13, 2015
Stinky! (Race Ahead with Reading).
Ann Bryant. Illustrated by Andy Elkerton.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2015.
32 pp., pbk., hc., pdf & html, $10.95 (pbk.), $21.56 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-1334-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-1289-3 (RLB.), ISBN 978-1-4271-7780-3 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4271-77668-1 (html).
Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.
Review by Sophia Hunter.
So, quick as a flash, I made up a story in my head about the guinea pig next door. (Itís named Stinky, by the way.) The next thing I know, this came out of my mouth. ďIím training my guinea pigs for an animal tricks competition.Ē
Like many children (and adults,) Bill Brady wants to fit in. Unable to think of a talent similar to those of his peers, Bill makes one up and triggers a series of events that will make young readers laugh.
Billís problems start when he claims to be training his guinea pigs for a competition. As he doesnít even own a guinea pig, he has to borrow one from his neighbour. After careful training, Stinky the guinea pig arrives at school with Bill, forgets his tricks and poos on the floor. To add to Billís troubles, his teacher wants the name of the competition so her friend can enter her guinea pig which turns out to be the very guinea pig Bill is pretending belongs to him. As bathroom jokes can never be overdone in a book targeted at young readers, Stinky pees on the floor before he leaves the class.
This predictable but amusing tale will appeal to its target audience: young readers who are transitioning to reading longer stories independently. It is designed to look like a chapter book but includes images on every page. The text is not dependent on the images for understanding, but they will help new readers comprehend the story. The main feature of the images is their bright colours. Stinky is appealing as a cute cartoon guinea pig.
Stinky! is recommended for libraries and classrooms. It would be a particular match for children who are looking for their first foray into chapter books.
Sophia Hunter is a teacher-librarian at Crofton House Junior School in Vancouver, BC.
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