The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka (J)

The Stinky Cheese Man

The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales

Jon Scieskza (Juvenile Fiction)

Meet Jack:  adventurer, trespasser, thief, giant agitator, and—for this particular occasion—narrator of our story.  But this isn’t just any story, but rather several stories.  Stories of a princess, a fibbing frog, a giant, a tortoise and a rather hairy hare, an athletic little girl, an obnoxious chicken, and yes, a stinky cheese man.  These stories will not only entertain, amuse, and delight, but they may—one day—just save your life!  Don’t believe me?  Just ask Jack.

The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales is a wonderful read-out-loud book that will undoubtedly induce a few chuckles, giggles, guffaws and perhaps an eyeroll or two.  But make no mistake that the star of this book is not the stories, but rather the incredible, award-winning artwork of Lane Smith (who collaborated with Jon Scieszka again in creating The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!).  His over-the-top, dark, eclectic, multi-media illustrations earned Smith the 1993 Caldecott Medal Honor award and are the very vibrant and outlandish heart of this outrageously enchanting book.  Lacking any moral lessons whatsoever, unless you count “When in the presence of giants, it’s best to keep your mouth shut” or “Sometimes there is no happy ever after so get over it”, Scieszka encourages us to see the ridiculous side of life, to accept life for what it is, and to remind us that sometimes tales, even fairly stupid ones, can simply be enjoyed without having an ulterior motive.

Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, known for his own fairy tales, once said, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.”  Indeed, it is.  So, here’s to living life to its fullest, filling it with plenty of laughter and silliness, and creating your own happily ever after because if you don’t, you just might get eaten up by a giant.  The End.

Rating: 4/5

*Book cover image attributed to www.amazon.com

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