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The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

4.5 66
by Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith

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"Parodic humor here runs riot...irrepressibly zany fun!" --Kirkus

* Caldecott Honor Book
* An ABBY Honor Book
* Publishers Weekly Top Selling Kids Books of All Time List
* ALA Notable Children's Book
* New York Times Notable Book of the Year
* New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year
* School Library


"Parodic humor here runs riot...irrepressibly zany fun!" --Kirkus

* Caldecott Honor Book
* An ABBY Honor Book
* Publishers Weekly Top Selling Kids Books of All Time List
* ALA Notable Children's Book
* New York Times Notable Book of the Year
* New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year
* School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
* Booklist Children's Editors' Choice, "Top of the List"
* The Horn Book Fanfare
* Texas Bluebonnet Award
* Parenting's Reading-Magic Award

Editorial Reviews

bn.com review
The Barnes & Noble Review
Get out the nose plugs, folks, and stuff up your nostrils -- the Stinky Cheese Man is back after ten years! Yep, it's been a decade since that zany duo of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith created the odious little guy who ended up winning our hearts and garnering a Caldecott Honor, and now he's returned in this snazzy, newly jacketed ten-year anniversary edition.

Looking better than ever, the The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales includes all the fractured fairy tales we love, along with some never-before-seen extras. Among Scieszka's lively stories are "The Really Ugly Duckling," "Cinderumpelstiltskin," and, of course "The Stinky Cheese Man." The tales are still fresh and hysterical, with lots of tongue-in-cheek text adding to the book's forward-thinking design. Smith's kooky artwork remains the perfect complement, too, as deep colors and exaggerated features give the book that extra twisted look. The new jacket, though, is the real bonus for this edition -- the inside reveals "The Boy Who Cried Cow Patty," which was mentioned in the first book but then lost, along with all the numbers that fell off the table of contents. In addition to the Stinky Cheese Man's big, smelly mug on the cover, the Little Red Hen is still busy ranting and clucking about her wheat.

Ten years ago, this had all the bells and whistles of a groundbreaking book, and now there's even more. Children and adults still cheer over Scieszka and Smith's unique take on fairy tales, and with this new edition, old fans and new readers alike can chortle over wacky favorites and steaming cow-patty tales. Great for reading aloud or role playing, this anniversary edition reeks of a fun time. (Matt Warner)

Barnes & Noble Staff
Ten wildly hilarious mixed-up fairy tales with wacky illustrations are gathered in this zany book. Not only are they silly ("Cinderumpelstiltskin," "Little Red Running Shorts," and "The Princess and the Bowling Ball" among them), but the variety of type-faces and layout add to the general mayhem. It is a challenge for readers of all ages to keep a straight face while reading this irreverent collection, and "The Gingerbread Man" will never be the same!
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Grade-school irreverence abounds in this compendium of (extremely brief) fractured fairy tales, which might well be subtitled ``All Things Gross and Giddy.'' With a relentless application of the sarcasm that tickled readers of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs , Scieszka and Smith skewer a host of juvenile favorites: Little Red Running Shorts beats the wolf to grandmother's house; the Really Ugly Duckling matures into a Really Ugly Duck; Cinderumpelstiltskin is ``a girl who really blew it.'' Text and art work together for maximum comic impact--varying styles and sizes of type add to the illustrations' chaos, as when Chicken Licken discovers that the Table of Contents, and not the sky, is falling. Smith's art, in fact, expands upon his previous waggery to include increased interplay between characters, and even more of his intricate detail work. The collaborators' hijinks are evident in every aspect of the book, from endpapers to copyright notice. However, the zaniness and deadpan delivery that have distinguished their previous work may strike some as overdone here. This book's tone is often frenzied; its rather specialized humor, delivered with the rapid-fire pacing of a string of one-liners, at times seems almost mean-spirited. Ages 5-up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
A totally irreverent retelling of a number of classic fairy tales including "The Little Red Hen," "The Princess and the Pea," and "The Ugly Duckling." All are accompanied by the equally wacky and outrageous illustrations of Lane Smith. A book that will undoubtedly appeal to those who know the original stories and have a good sense of the absurd.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Scieszka and his comic cohort, Smith, have ignited a resurgence of retellings and brought new vision to fairy tales. The daring duo was distinguished with a Caldecott honor for this collection of irreverent tales. Scieszka refers to this book as "one of the first fairy tales I twisted" and probably their "fairy tale finale." Below Scieszka's patina of humor and playfulness, there is a respect for kids that shapes his work. "I gravitated to fairy tales because it's the genre that kids are in charge of, can take control of, and be in on the joke." His books may appeal to adults, but they primarily are created for, motivated by, and support the vision of kids.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-- Scieszka and Smith, the daring duo responsible for revealing The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (Viking, 1989), return here with nine new exposes, all narrated by the ubiquitous Jack (of Beanstalk fame). Unlike the detailed retelling of the pigs' tale, most of these stories are shortened, one-joke versions that often trade their traditional morals for hilarity. ``The Stinky Cheese Man'' is an odoriferous cousin to the gingerbread boy; when he runs away, nobody wants to run after him. ``The Other Frog Prince'' wheedles a kiss only to reveal that he is just a tricky frog (as the princess wipes the frog slime off her lips); the Little Red Hen wanders frantically in and out of the book squawking about her wheat, her bread, her story, until she is finally (and permanently) squelched by Jack's giant. The broad satire extends even to book design, with a blurb that proclaims ``NEW! IMPROVED! FUNNY! GOOD! BUY! NOW!'' and a skewed table of contents crashing down on Chicken Licken and company several pages after they proclaim that the sky is falling. The illustrations are similar in style and mood to those in the earlier book, with the addition of more abstraction plus collage in some areas. The typeface, text size, and placement varies to become a vital part of the illustrations for some of the tales. Clearly, it is necessary to be familiar with the original folktales to understand the humor of these versions. Those in the know will laugh out loud. --Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.62(w) x 10.35(h) x 0.16(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Multiple award-winning author Jon Scieszka grew up in Flint, Michigan, the second oldest and the nicest of six boys. Jon went to school at Culver Military Academy in Indiana where he was a Lieutenant; Albion College in Michigan where he studied to be a doctor; and Columbia University in New York, where he received an M.F.A. in fiction. He taught elementary school in New York for ten years in a variety of positions. He is the author of many books for children including the New York Times Best Illustrated Book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (illustrated by Lane Smith), the Caldecott Honor book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (illustrated by Lane Smith), and Math Curse (illustrated by Lane Smith).  In addition to his work as an author, Jon also runs a web-based literacy program called “Guys Read” that is designed to encourage boys, particularly reluctant readers, to get involved with books. In 2008, Jon was named the country’s first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a joint effort of the Library of Congress and the Children’s Book Council. During his two-year role as Ambassador, he acted as a spokesperson for children’s literature, speaking to groups of parents, teachers, and children to encourage the importance of reading. You can visit Jon online at www.jsworldwide.com.

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The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My 6 year old daughter loves this book. She laughs hysterically when she reads it.
Justkristen3 More than 1 year ago
Scieszka's outlandish characters and twisted plots will entertain children. The vocabulary is modern, and the writing is decent. I read the book when I was a child, and I still remembered it ten years later when I started a collection of children's books for my future children.
kotomi More than 1 year ago
This book is so much fun, not only is it a family favorite between my kids and I, but I have also given it out as gifts to adult friends. It's great for all ages, and no one walks away without giggling for the next few days. The entertainment begins on the inside cover page...and don't forget to read the table of contents. You won't be disappointed
booksaregreatNV More than 1 year ago
I'm 17 years old now and a senior in high school, but I can tell you that this is a book that I definetaly remember my elementary school teachers reading outloud to the class many time, because we all loved it. It has everything that we loved. This book is not one to pass up. I'll be buying a copy for my little sisters to enjoy as much is I use to when I was younger. I would also get the hardcover version, because it's bound to last longer than the paperback version. Hope you like it as much as I do. Brings back great memories! (: - Natalia
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales' is a great book! It rearanges and twists Classic Fairy Tales into funny, cute stories and let's the Fairy Tales go into whole new dirictions. If you thought Fairy Tales were boring, you've GOT to check this book out!
MenaW More than 1 year ago
These guys are funny!!
EHD More than 1 year ago
A rollicking fun and good read for your elementary or older children.
Lorene More than 1 year ago
Don't buy this used because whoever owned it will have read the book until it fell apart. I loved reading the stories to my kids because I could make them laugh out loud. When they started reading, this was a good book to read with them because the dialogue is easy to read dramatically (or melodramatically). I can browse the whole Humor section of a bookstore without finding anything funny, but this book is witty enough for me.
Minimarj More than 1 year ago
My brothers and I had this book when we were young and loved it. My son just turned one, and we still love going through these stories just as much as we did when we were little. A fun book for both parents and kids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 22 and when I was 8, I got this book from a book fair. It was instantly my favorite book and I never put it down. I now have a 3 year old that I will purchase this for. If he doesn't like it, I know I will :]
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sydEG More than 1 year ago
After my then 7 year old grand daughter finished this book she said: "This book is just too good!". And it is. It is a terrific spoof of classic fairy tales designed to make children laugh and think. Any child who enjoys reading will love this book.
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elgilding More than 1 year ago
This book is a very funny book and a great alternative to your normal fairy tales. I bought this book for my sister for a baby shower gift (I have my own copy). I hope the whole family will get many years of enjoyment out of it.
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TJTW More than 1 year ago
A laugh aminute. Your kids will love it
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