Spurred by a newfound awareness of false advertising, Stink Moody becomes the proverbial kid in a candy store as his letter-writing campaign yields him heaps of free rewards.
When Stink buys a mammoth jawbreaker that doesn't break his jaw, he writes a letter of complaint to the manufacturer - and receives a ten-pound box of 21,280 jawbreakers for his trouble! This unexpected benefit of acing the art of letter-writing in school sure gets Stink thinking. Soon Stink is so preoccupied with getting free stuff sent to him that he overlooks a scribbly envelope in the mail pile - until his best friend, Webster, starts acting standoffish and looks as mad as a hornet.
In this hilarious new episode from Megan McDonald and Peter H. Reynolds, Judy Moody's shorter sibling truly comes into his own. As a delightful bonus for both teachers and kids, thirty-six common idioms - from "two heads are better than one" to "a leopard can’t change its spots" - are sprinkled throughout the story; seven of the idioms are humorously illustrated by Stink, and all are listed at the end to inspire a search for idioms that’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
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About the Author
Megan McDonald is the creator of the popular and award-winning Judy Moody and Stink series. She is also the author of three Sisters Club stories, two stories about Ant and Honey Bee, and many other books for children. She lives in Sebastopol, California.
Peter H. Reynolds is a New York Times best-selling illustrator who has created many acclaimed books for children. In addition to his Creatrilogy — The Dot, Ish, and Sky Color — he is the author-illustrator of Rose’s Garden, The North Star, and So Few of Me and the illustrator of Megan McDonald’s Judy Moody and Stink series. Born in Canada, Peter H. Reynolds now lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.
“Sometimes I think I am Judy Moody,” says Megan McDonald, author of the wildly popular Judy Moody series, the Stink books, and the Sisters Club trilogy. “I’m certainly moody, like she is. Judy has a strong voice and always speaks up for herself. I like that.”
For Megan McDonald, being able to speak up for herself wasn’t always easy. She grew up in a house full of books, as the youngest of five sisters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her father, an ironworker, was known to his coworkers as “Little Johnny the Storyteller.” Every evening, the McDonalds gathered around the large, round dinner table to talk and tell stories, but Megan McDonald was barely able to get a word in edgewise. “I’m told I began to stutter,” she says, leading her mother to give her a copy of Harriet the Spy and a small spiral notebook, so she could begin writing things down á la the young reporter Harriet.
To date, Megan McDonald has penned more than sixty books for children and young readers, including the critically acclaimed Judy Moody series. These hilarious books have won numerous awards, ranging from a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and an International Reading Association Children’s Choice to the first-ever Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award. “Judy has taken on a life of her own,” the author notes, with millions of Judy Moody books in print worldwide. The feisty third-grader is highly popular with boys and girls, making for an enthusiastic base of fans who are among Megan McDonald’s strongest incentives to keep writing the adventures of Judy Moody and her little brother, Stink, along with a bottomless well of ideas inspired by growing up with four older sisters.
And—by popular demand—Judy Moody’s little brother, Stink, gets his chance to shine in his own adventures! Megan McDonald says, “Once, while I was visiting a class full of Judy Moody readers, the kids, many with spiked hair à la Judy’s little brother, chanted, ‘Stink! Stink! Stink! Stink! Stink!’ as I entered the room. In that moment, I knew that Stink had to have a book all his own.” Now, giant jawbreakers, smelly sneakers, stinky corpse flowers, and 101 runaway guinea pigs join Mouse, Jaws, Toady, mood rings, an ABC gum collection, and operating on a zucchini in the everyday antics of Judy Moody’s world.
Megan McDonald has recalled some of her own childhood by writing about the warmth, humor—and squabbles—of three spunky sisters in the Sisters Club trilogy, wrapping up with Cloudy With a Chance of Boys. Megan McDonald lives and writes in northern California with her husband, a frequent collaborator.
“I often visit classrooms and ask who loves to draw,” says Peter H. Reynolds, illustrator of the acclaimed Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald and author-illustrator of The Dot, Ish, Sky Color, So Few Of Me, and other enchanting picture books that celebrate the creative process. “In kindergarten and first grade, all the hands go up. In second grade, most of the hands go up. In third grade, half the hands are up. By fourth and fifth grade, most of the hands are down, or perhaps pointing to ‘the class artist.’ It’s sad to see the artistic, creative energy slowing down, being packed away. I am convinced it’s because children learn early that there are ‘rules’ to follow. But when it comes to expressing yourself, you can invent your own rules. You can change them, you can stretch them, or you can ignore them all and dive headfirst into the unknown.
“Nothing irks me more than seeing a person’s creativity get shut down,” he continues. “Through my books, I want to help give kids—and grown-up kids—the vocabulary to protect their exploration, in art, writing, and thinking.” It certainly appears his approach is working: not only has The Dot garnered high critical acclaim, it also received the 2004 Christopher Medal, awarded to works that “affirm the highest values of the human spirit.”
Peter H. Reynolds recalls that when he was approached about illustrating Megan McDonald’s Judy Moody—the first in what would become an extremely popular chapter-book series for middle-graders—he jumped at the chance. For one thing, the feisty, independent Judy reminded him of his own daughter, who was eleven years old at the time. “Judy seemed very real to me, compared to fantasy versions of what little girls are like,” he says. What’s more, the story itself—in which a moody Judy struggles to create a Me collage for school—clicked with his own beliefs as an educator about the role a child’s temperament can play in the learning process.
But it was Judy’s younger “bother,” Stink, who would strike the greatest chord within Peter H. Reynolds. “I’ve fallen in love with the whole cast of characters in the world of Judy Moody, but Stink has always been a favorite of mine. He reminds me of myself growing up: dealing with a sister prone to teasing and bossing around—and having to get creative in order to stand tall beside her.” And now Stink is getting the chance to be heard in his own series also by Megan McDonald— which features the artwork of Peter H. Reynolds that Judy’s fans have grown to love, including comic strips drawn by Stink himself.
Peter H. Reynolds and his twin brother, Paul (now his business partner), were born in Canada but moved to a Massachusetts suburb when they were three years old. They made their first foray into publishing at the age of seven, when they began producing their own newspapers and comic books on their father’s photocopier. An incessant doodler since childhood, Peter H. Reynolds credits his unique brand of humor and his love for the absurd to growing up with “very eccentric British parents” who were fond of watching Monty Python. “It was not a normal house,” he recalls. From his parents he also inherited an appreciation for tea, which he uses both as a beverage and an art medium. In addition, the illustrator brings to the Judy Moody series his sensibility as a “very visual person.”
Founder of the award-winning educational media developer and publisher FableVision, where he produces award-winning children’s broadcast programming, educational videos, and multimedia applications, Peter H. Reynolds was recently honored by Verizon as Literacy Leader of the Year. The author-illustrator lives with his family in Dedham, Massachusetts.
Read an Excerpt
Stink and the Incredible Super-Galactic Jawbreaker
By Megan McDonald
CandlewickCopyright © 2007 Megan McDonald
All right reserved.
Every day, Stink ate a little more and a little more of his jawbreaker. He ate it in bed first thing in the morning before he brushed his teeth. He ate it at recess in between playing H-O-R-S-E with his super-duper best friend, Webster. He ate it on the bus and all the way home from school.
He gave a lick to Mouse the cat. He gave a lick to Toady the toad. He even tried giving a lick to Jaws the Venus flytrap.
Stink's jawbreaker went from super-galactic to just plain galactic. From golf-ball size to Super-Ball size.
"Are you still eating that thing?" asked Judy. Stink stuck out his tongue.
"Well, you look like a skink," said Judy. She pointed to his blue tongue.
Shloop! went Stink.
Stink ate his not-super-galactic jawbreaker for one whole week. He ate it when it tasted like chalk. He ate it when it tasted like grapefruit. He ate it through the fiery core to the sweet, sugary center. He ate it down to a marble. A teeny-tiny pea.
Then, in one single bite, one not-jaw-breaking crunch, it was G-O-N-E, gone.
Stink was down in the dumps. He moped around the house for one whole day and a night. He stomped up the stairs. He stomped down. He drew comics. Ka-POW! He did not play with Toady once. He did not do his homework. He went outside and bounced Judy's basketball 117 times.
"Somebody got up on the WRONG side of the bed," said Judy."If I didn't know better, I'd think you were in a MOOD."
"I can have moods too, you know." Stink kept counting. "One hundred eighteen, one hundred nineteen . . ."
"Is it because your jawbreaker's all gone?" asked Judy.
"It's because that jawbreaker lied. They should call it World's Biggest UN-jawbreaker. I ate and ate that thing for one whole week, and it did not break my jaw. Not once. It didn't even make my mouth one teeny-weeny bit bigger.
STINK AND THE INCREDIBLE SUPER-GALACTIC JAWBREAKER by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Text copyright (c) 2006 by Megan McDonald. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA
Excerpted from Stink and the Incredible Super-Galactic Jawbreaker by Megan McDonald Copyright © 2007 by Megan McDonald. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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