A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the Stink series is a spin-off of the Judy Moody series, written in the same light, funny style. Stink, Judy's little brother, feels like he's never going to grow, and Judy constantly reminds him that he's the shortest kid in his second-grade class. The series starts with Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid, first published in 2013, and each book follows Stink, often with best friends Webster and Sophie by his side, on an adventure -- from letter writing for free candy to sleepovers to a disastrous weekend with the class pet. When the friends get in trouble, it's resolved quickly, and hurt feelings never last long. There's realistic teasing between siblings, but Stink and Judy always support each other when it counts. The word choices are fun: A bit of advanced vocabulary is repeated throughout each book, and Stink and his friends use a lot of goofy words. Young readers will enjoy the comic strip-style illustrations between chapters.
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What's the story?
In the STINK series, James "Stink" Moody behaves like the second-grader he is: He's inquisitive, energetic, and impulsive, and he likes to go on adventures with his friends. Whether they're on a sleepover at the aquarium or walking the halls at school, the kids' interactions are realistic: They talk, tease, share fears and hurt feelings, and laugh, usually within the same conversation. He and his sister, Judy, tease each other and argue, but they can be kind and supportive. Cool trivia about animals, science, and history is woven into each book, and throughout the series, Stink finds ways to mention his favorite president, James Madison, the shortest president of the United States.
Is it any good?
This is a great series for kids who are starting to read chapter books. The language in the Stink books is accessible, engaging, and often silly, and the plots are simple. Kids can relate to Stink feeling insecure because he's so short or being scared in a new situation, but they'll laugh at the corny jokes and the fun words. Parents will likely hear the animal and science trivia repeated back to them after their reader finishes the book.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how in the Stink series, Stink finds out that small kindnesses make a difference. A supportive comment from a friend when he's sad or scared helps Stink feel better. What opportunities for small kindnesses do you see in your day?
How does the Stink series compare with the Judy Moody series? Which do you like better?
Why is a sincere apology for hurting someone's feelings important? How it can mend friendships? Why is it sometimes so hard to say you're sorry?
- Author: Megan McDonald
- Illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds
- Genre: For Beginning Readers
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Candlewick Press
- Publication date: April 9, 2013
- Number of pages: 150
- Available on: Paperback, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 22, 2019
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