On what the reader assumes is Stinky Face's first day of school, the little boy attempts to prolong breakfast due to his fear of the unknown. He barrages his mother with a string of imaginative questions about, "what would happen if?" His mother's creative responses have a calming effect on her nervous son, but each question leads into another more imaginative question. Moore's colorful, humorous illustrations separate the fantasy world from reality. Exaggerated characters and features abound in the fantasy world, while normalcy rules in the real world. In this companion book to I Love You, Stinky Face, McCourt's emphasis about the love and trust between mother and child reassures the child reader that wild adventures are possible only in the mind and cannot happen in real world situations. Although kindergarten children request this book over and over, it is one that is probably best suited for reading between parent and child. 2000, Troll/Bridgewater Books, $15.95. Ages 4 to 6. Reviewer: J. B. Petty
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-This follow-up to I Love You, Stinky Face (BridgeWater, 1997) continues in the tradition of innumerable stories in which a mother comforts her child's fears, but with a goofy twist. As with the first book, there is little sense of sentimentality, as Mama tries to allay her youngster's misgivings. The story begins with a concern that too many kids will get on the school bus, causing the tires to go flat. From there, the situations grow increasingly preposterous, such as what if the principal is "-really a witch-And she turned me into a snarly werewolf in polka dot underwear-?" McCourt does nothing new with this now-familiar story format but just goes for the easy laughs instead. Still, the silliness does provide Moore the opportunity to draw lots of entertainingly funny pictures. Her lively cartoon style is perfect for the over-the-top scenarios described in the text. Young readers may smile at Stinky Face's wacky imaginings, but this book has nothing to make it an enduring favorite.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Even after I Love You, Stinky Face (1997) and I Miss You, Stinky Face (1999), Mother is still providing reassuring answers to her affectionately nicknamed child's extravagant questions. The theme is school anxiety: What if the bus tires go flat? What if the Principal is a witch? What if the teacher decides to teach armpit noises and the hokey-pokey rather than numbers and letters? And so forth. Mom's answers are usually as outrageously imaginative as the questions, and young readers' own fears can't help but lighten as they get the message right along with Stinky Face that school will be exciting, but not scary—not even if aliens invade the playground to throw slimy green mudpies. Depicting an anything but sedate classroom filled with swirls of school supplies and trailing streams of color, Moore's busy, close-up scenes invite viewers to dive into the action. This descendant of Margaret Wise Brown's Runaway Bunny will soothe anxious parents too. (Picture Book. 5-8)