Stinkbomb and little sister Ketchup-Face return in another storm of absurdity in Dougherty’s second installment (Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers, 2017).
Picking up where the first adventure on the island of Great Kerfuffle left off, this sequel finds the bad badgers back on the loose after their cunning use of a Monopoly “Get Out of Jail Free” card, and King Toothbrush Weasel again asks white siblings Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face to capture the villains. The siblings seek the story expertise of a Ninja Librarian, who explains that to stop the badgers from doing evil things they must find the Magic Porcupine of Stupidity. After enduring a bus ride, a song about libraries, raccoons that are probably badgers, a banana-loving shark, an impressive diversity of typefaces, excessively long traffic lights, and a porcupine that is possibly magical but definitely a rabbit, Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face use their mastery of story nonsense and a handy “Go Directly to Jail” card to save the day. If it’s possible, this book is even more self-aware than its predecessor, and the characters actually get a bit mired in the metanarrative. But despite such dubious elements as a masked Ninja Librarian whose cat’s-eye glasses might be read as an analog for stereotypical slanted eyes or narrative absurdity that goes a little too far into tedium, Dougherty’s rollicking sendup and Ricks’ accompanying spot art continue to amuse.
A second round of hilarity. (Fiction. 7-11)