Reviews for The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

by Joe Scieszka

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Gr. 2 and up (See Focus on page 57.)


School Library Journal
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Gr 2-6?Nine irreverent and witty exposÚs of folkloric folk, ingeniously designed, outrageously illustrated, and all narrated by the ubiquitous Jack (of Beanstalk fame), with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. (Sept. 1992) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 2-6-- Scieszka and Smith, the daring duo responsible for revealing The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (Viking, 1989), return here with nine new exposes, all narrated by the ubiquitous Jack (of Beanstalk fame). Unlike the detailed retelling of the pigs' tale, most of these stories are shortened, one-joke versions that often trade their traditional morals for hilarity. ``The Stinky Cheese Man'' is an odoriferous cousin to the gingerbread boy; when he runs away, nobody wants to run after him. ``The Other Frog Prince'' wheedles a kiss only to reveal that he is just a tricky frog (as the princess wipes the frog slime off her lips); the Little Red Hen wanders frantically in and out of the book squawking about her wheat, her bread, her story, until she is finally (and permanently) squelched by Jack's giant. The broad satire extends even to book design, with a blurb that proclaims ``NEW! IMPROVED! FUNNY! GOOD! BUY! NOW!'' and a skewed table of contents crashing down on Chicken Licken and company several pages after they proclaim that the sky is falling. The illustrations are similar in style and mood to those in the earlier book, with the addition of more abstraction plus collage in some areas. The typeface, text size, and placement varies to become a vital part of the illustrations for some of the tales. Clearly, it is necessary to be familiar with the original folktales to understand the humor of these versions. Those in the know will laugh out loud. --Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

From the front jacket copy (``...56 action-packed pages, 75% more than those old 32-page `Brand-X' books'') to the Little Red Hen's back-cover diatribe (``Who is this ISBN guy?''), the parodic humor here runs riot. The insistent Hen is already squawking her tale at Jack--officious narrator, MC, and sometime participant--before a page labeled ``Title Page'' in 192 point type; the dedication is upside down, Jack's introduction carries a Surgeon General's warning, and the table of contents turns up late--after a story in which it plays an unprecedented role, then gets a jolt that knocks one tale off the page and, apparently, right out of the book. The brief, colloquially told, thoroughly revised tales are in the same comic spirit: no one wants to eat the Stinky Cheese Man, unlike the Gingerbread Boy; a lovestruck prince puts a bowling ball under his princess's 100 mattresses; ``and much, much more!'' All of this is fairly amusing, but what's most unusual is the innovative play with typography (a repetitive story gets smaller and smaller like an eye test, and words and letters are distorted in various other ways) and Smith's wondrously bizarre and expressive art (``The illustrations are rendered in oil and vinegar,'' states the colophon). Irrepressibly zany fun. (Fiction/Picture book. 5+)


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Grade-school irreverence abounds in this compendium of (extremely brief) fractured fairy tales, which might well be subtitled ``All Things Gross and Giddy.'' With a relentless application of the sarcasm that tickled readers of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs , Scieszka and Smith skewer a host of juvenile favorites: Little Red Running Shorts beats the wolf to grandmother's house; the Really Ugly Duckling matures into a Really Ugly Duck; Cinderumpelstiltskin is ``a girl who really blew it.'' Text and art work together for maximum comic impact--varying styles and sizes of type add to the illustrations' chaos, as when Chicken Licken discovers that the Table of Contents, and not the sky, is falling. Smith's art, in fact, expands upon his previous waggery to include increased interplay between characters, and even more of his intricate detail work. The collaborators' hijinks are evident in every aspect of the book, from endpapers to copyright notice. However, the zaniness and deadpan delivery that have distinguished their previous work may strike some as overdone here. This book's tone is often frenzied; its rather specialized humor, delivered with the rapid-fire pacing of a string of one-liners, at times seems almost mean-spirited. Ages 5-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Hijinks go beyond plot and picture in this raucous collection of fractured fairy tales. Every part of the book bears the loving stamp of its creators, whose dry, sometimes dark humor, wordplay, and wacky sophomoric jokes should attract a considerable adult following.


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

A new dust jacket features a full-page headshot of the Stinky Man himself on the front and a smooth sales pitch from Jack on the back. Libraries will be disappointed to miss out on the double-sided jacket, the inside of which contains the Long-Lost Fairly Stupid Tale The Boy Who Cried Cow Patty along with some obligatory squawking from the Little Red Hen about this Special Ten Year Anniversary Edition. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Fiction: can be extracted for telling aloud Age: with great success. Another masterpiece from the team that created [cf2]The True Story of the Three Little Pigs![cf1] (Viking)."" The entire book, with its unconventional page arrangement and eclectic, frenetic mix of text and picures, is a spoof on the art of book design and the art of the fairy tale. The individual tales, such as Horn Rating: Outstanding, noteworthy in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: The Really Ugly Duckling"""" and """"Little Red Running Shorts (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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