What’s a stinkbug to do if it can’t make a stink?
At every stinking contest, stinkbug Bud pales in comparison to his more-pungent kin. While the others emit scents of smokestack, dead fish, or dog doo, Bud stands out with his scent of flowers. Or pine tree. Or new car. Even his name lacks a certain je ne sais quoi when compared to the likes of P.U. Bottoms, Lord Stinkington, and The Fumigator. Time and time again, Bud’s not-so-stinky fragrances land him in last place—and make him feel like an outsider. When a bee named April follows her nose to flowers but instead sees Bud dancing (and smelling) up a storm, she invites him to her hive for a dance party. The other bees initially turn up their noses at the stinkbug. But when they see Bud’s dance moves and smell his most fragrant scent of all, everything eventually starts coming up roses. Rash’s bold art mixes gouache, ink, and digital techniques to create a rich, colorful world. Between double-page spreads and a few large comics-style panels (all with textured backgrounds), there’s minimal white space. For a story about an outsider, this one stands out in that Bud’s struggle with what a stinkbug should be is mostly internal. The only real bully in this story is Bud himself.
Get a good whiff of this olfactorily original celebration of individuality. (Picture book. 3-7)