Monday, May 7, 2012

Mr. Stink

Mr. Stink
David Walliams, illustrated by Quentin Blake
Razorbill, 2010
$9.99, Paperback
April 30th, 2012

Genre: Humor
Age: 8+
Description: Chloe’s family hates her. Her dad is scared of her mom and her mom is obsessed with looking proper and taking care of Annabelle, Chloe’s younger sister who is disgustingly talented. Chloe soon meets Mr. Stink, a local tramp who, well, stinks and becomes friends with him. When Chloe’s mom runs for local elections and promises to get rid of the tramps, Chloe feels she’ll loose her only friend. If only she could find a place for him to hide . . . the shed in the backyard looks nice. Unfortunately, hiding a tramp in your backyard is a daunting task and when the secret comes out it opens a whole new can of worms as Chloe and Mr. Stink become famous for her good dead which Chloe’s mother tries to take credit for. Soon ousted as a liar, she’s forced to pull out of the campaign. Then everything changes when Mr. Stink finally reveals his past to Chloe.  
Opinion: David Walliams is the comic famous for BBC’s Little Britain and usually many actors who attempt to write books utterly bomb at the task. However, Walliams has a knack for getting his comic genius to translate to youth fiction. Chloe and Mr. Stink bond really well and Chloe has to except the fact that he is a wanderer and will move on. However, he helps get Chloe’s mother to realize her love for her older daughter, her husband, and his passion for rock and roll, and Chloe’s talent at writing stories. In the end, she begins to write a new one for Mr. Stink—one about how she met him (i.e., the book we just read). There are some British terms that some readers may not understand but the story reads fast and is laugh out loud funny. Walliams isn’t just called the new Roald Dahl because Quentin Blake illustrates his books—it is truly an honor that testifies to his talent for writing.

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