Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Favorite Series: Stink
Stink and the Ultimate Thumb-Wrestling Smackdown
by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter Reynolds
review copy purchased for my classroom
Stink gets a U on his report card in Phys Ed, and his parents make him take up a sport. He considers (in the first comic of the book) Pogo Badminton, Tuna-Tossing, Cheese-Rolling, and Unicycle Hockey. After watching some sports on TV, he rules out slow-pitch softball and golf as "BOR-ing" and "WAY-boring," and he throws out seven other sports before he finds thumb-wrestling. (is that sport or "sport"? and you can find this on the sports channel? for real? yet another reason why we don't have cable...) Unfortunately, Stink's parents don't buy into thumb-wrestling as a sport, but karate gets the okay.
If you know Stink, you know that the discipline of karate doesn't come easy, although the kicking and smashing and yelling do. When Stink uses his "calm as a pool of water" at the library to tame the rambunctious reading dog, you know he's on his way to success. In the climax of the book, Stink is going for his yellow belt, AND his Shark Hammersmash goes up against T-Rex Wasabi in the Ultimate Thumb-Wrestling Thmackdown.
Why I love this series:
1. The illustrations and comics.
2. The way Stink and Judy banter. (" 'Stink, you lie like a guy with a booger in his eye.' " and " 'Prove it like Nancy Drew.' ")
3. Kids who love the series, but who have outgrown it, still read the new ones as they come out. This means that there is no stigma about reading Stink. It's not an "easy" book, it's a funny book with a great character.