I want to remind everyone about book week, every child a reader, coming up May 7-13, 2012. You can go to their website, http://www.bookweekonline.com/, and learn whether there are any events in your city or if you just want some bookmarks. I just found out a book festival is being held in a city fairly close to me in Gaithersburg Maryland and I may just go for the fun of it. From the web site, it looks simply marvelous. Now on to Perfect Picture Book Friday.
Written by: Jon Scieszka and Illustrated by Lane Smith
Published by: Penguin Group 1992, fiction:
Themes: Fairy tales – United States, Children’s stories, American. Humor
Resources: Wikipedia has a page describing the book and explaining the tales in detail, I found some interesting facts about the book that I hadn’t understood when reading it. One needs to be well versed in the fairy tales to understand this book. Coming from Holland and not having parents read to me, I found this page helpful. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stinky_Cheese_Man_and_Other_Fairly_Stupid_Tales. A family theatre company is putting on a show in Dayton about it here: http://mostmetro.com/performing-arts-theater/previews/the-stinky-cheese-man-and-other-fairly-stupid-tales.html for 2012 season. Another theatre http://www.schooltimeseries.com/webpdfs/ST_StinkyCheeseMan_web.pdf gives lessons in language arts and media to give before a field trip there. This resource is the main one for teacher guides about the book. There is a whole pamphlet called Dreamcatchers with a description of the show including fun facts and discussions for pre and post performance based on the book. After looking at all the activities I realized that kids need to have a basic understanding of fairy tales to enjoy this book so I recommend reading The Stinky Cheese Man after a program of reading the fairy tales included in it. Then after the kids have learned the fairy tales a parody such as The Stinky Cheese Man will make the most sense.
From the Jacket: On the back of the jacket: “What is this doing here. This is ugly! Who is this ISBN guy? Who will buy this book anyway? Over fifty pages of nonsense and I’m only in three of them. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah blah, blah, blah, blah, etc.” with a picture of the little red hen. On the inside cover, “56 action–packed pages. 75% more than those old 32 page ‘Brand X’ books. 10 Complete Stories! 25 Lavish paintings! And in a red bubble; “NEW! IMPROVED! FUNNY! GOOD! BUY! NOW!” There is no summary or synopsis of the book but as you can see this is an unconventional book. There is a humorous bio of both Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith which I will copy as another precursor of the book. Next to the photo of George Washington it says “Jon Scieszka also wrote The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Frog Prince Continued, and the Time Warp Trio series. He cannot tell a lie and says that he and Lane celebrate the Stinky Cheese Man’s birthday on the second Monday of every February. Next to the photo of Lincoln is this: Honest Lane Smith wrote and illustrated, Glasses, Who Needs ‘Em?, The Big Pets, and Flying Jake. He illustrated the Time Warp Trio series, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, and Halloween ABC. He has won the Golden Apple of Bratislava, the Silver Buckeye, the Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators, and a bunch of other gold and silver stuff. If he hadn’t been an illustrator, he probably would have grown up in a log cabin and become president.”
Why I love it: This book appeals to all kinds of kids with its acute sense of humor, especially boys, I would think. It would appeal to kids who have had some experience with being read to and know the fairy tales so I’ll venture to say older ones, and ones who can read it to themselves as well as still enjoying being read to. The reason I say a child will enjoy reading to themselves is because there are so many jokes about spelling and so many puns about the way they have been taught things should be. It is one big joke, starting with the title as you can see. The tales are all fractured and in a way that makes one think about the first telling, wondering if in another perspective the tale is even more provocative.
This is what Susanna says about it. “We all want to introduce our children to the joys of books, and encourage them to be life-long readers. So much of that is dependent on finding the right books to suit their individual needs and interests. The marketplace can be overwhelming and sadly, not all of us have time to go and chat with our local children’s librarian or spend hours researching books. Perfect Picture Book Fridays and Just Right Books will be your new resource – a community of parents, teachers, librarians, and writers whose recommendations you can trust, and a way to make life easier for parents and teachers.” So you see, I am a small part in all this and hope you enjoyed this review as much as I did writing it. I hope parents and teachers can find what they need with less searching and save time by going here. We need to market this blog for this very reason. Thanks for reading. Would you read the book, Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales?