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by Lisa McCourt & illustrated by Cyd Moore

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-8167-7468-4
Publisher: Troll

McCourt and Moore (It’s Time for School, Stinky Face, 2000, etc.) continue their collaborative examination of one imaginative little boy with a major case of the “what-if’s,” the fourth in the successful series. This time the little boy called Stinky Face (who is actually quite sweet and clean) focuses his questions to his patient mother on the approaching Christmas holiday. The potential problems posed by Stinky Face begin realistically (too much snow, a melting snowman) and escalate rapidly into more fanciful fretfulness revolving around Santa’s imminent visit. Each question follows a “But what if . . . ” pattern, smoothly answered by the boy’s creative mother, who has a quick-witted, soothing solution for any worry, just like the mother rabbit in The Runaway Bunny. Moore’s lighthearted illustrations ground these worried musings in reality, with believable images that will help to explain some of unusual ideas (a coat rack Christmas tree, a reindeer with its antlers stuck in overhanging branches). One delightful product of Stinky Face’s imagination is the friendly Christmasaurus, a holly-covered dinosaur who stops by to help put lights on the house. What if the Christmasaurus came back for another visit in the next story? And what if she and Stinky Face took off in Santa’s sleigh? And what if they crash-landed in the Easter Bunny’s egg-painting factory? Just ask Stinky Face’s mom. She’ll come up with some clever solution. (Picture book. 3-7)