MR. STINK by David Walliams


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 12
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A reeking vagrant instills homey togetherness in a family ruled by a domineering mother in this uneven production from the team behind The Boy in the Dress (2009). Sure that Mr. Stink’s intriguing combination of gentle, refined speech and eye-watering personal hygiene signals a tragic past (which it actually does, as it turns out), 12-year-old Chloe secretly invites him to move into the shed behind her home. This touches off a series of events that lead to Chloe’s pretentious mother becoming a public laughingstock on national television, provide a chance for Chloe to meet and be rude (“stick it up your fat bum!”) to the oily Prime Minister and finally induce sudden, radical transformations in both of her parents as well as her villainous little sister just in time for Christmas. Refusing to change himself, Mr. Stink thereupon rambles off into the night. The funny bits, including Blake’s occasional spot sketches, are really funny, but the rest of the trite tale comes off as no more than a convenient framework on which to hang them and a set of typecast characters. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59514-332-7
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2010


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