This frantic, insanely funny send-up of fairy tales presents nine little comic masterpieces, with a cast that includes "The Princess and the Bowling Ball," "The Other Frog Prince," "Little Red Running Shorts," and the malodorous title character, with a head made from a thick wheel of cheese, with bacon for a mouth and olives for eyes. You remember the cookie that everyone chased in the old folktale, “The Gingerbread Man”? At the end, the fox tricked the cookie and ate it up. In this parallel story, the refrain goes, “Run run run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me. I’m the Stinky Cheese Man.” But instead of chasing him, the fox says, “Oh man! What is that funky smell?”
Everyone's having a bad day in this book, from Chicken Licken and company, who get squashed flat by the Table of Contents, to the irritable Little Red Hen, who grouses incessantly about her lack of story space. There’s “The Really Ugly Duckling,” no swan he, which concludes with, “Well, as it turned out, he was just a really ugly duckling. And he grew up to be just a really ugly duck.” All of this madness is held together by narrator Jack (of beanstalk fame) and Lane Smith’s spectacularly goofy collage paintings, which earned him a Caldecott Honor (silver medal).
THEMES: CHEESE. FAIRY TALES. HUMOR. PARODIES.
A READKIDDOREAD CLASSIC
Suggested Ages: 4 and Up