Reading is UNdead — and everyone has zombies on the brain — as Stink's school and a local bookstore cook up a frightfully fun Main Street event.
Guts! Brains! Eyeballs! There’s only one week before the new book in the Nightmare on Zombie Street series comes out. Of corpse Stink will be first in line at the Blue Frog Bookstore to buy his copy and join the town’s Midnight Zombie Walk! Until then, Stink and his friends keep busy making ketchup-stained zombie costumes, trying to raise money to buy the book, and racking up points for Virginia Dare School’s race to one million minutes of reading. But with all that talk about the undead, Zink
— that is, Stink — starts to wonder: is he being hunted by zombies? He does have a very delicious — er, superb — brain, after all. Readers will just have to open ze book and zee! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!
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About the Author
Megan McDonald is the creator of the popular and award-winning Stink and Judy Moody series. She is also the author of three Sisters Club stories, Ant and Honey Bee: A Pair of Friends at Halloween, and many other books for children. She lives in Sebastopol, California.
Peter H. Reynolds is the illustrator of the Stink and Judy Moody books and the author-illustrator of The Dot, Ish, So Few of Me, and Rose’s Garden. He lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.
“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.
“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.
What People are Saying About This
An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades… McDonald's feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun.
Gross, creepy, and hilarious, the latest simple chapter book about the young, mischievous grade-schooler Stink has even parents, teachers, and other grown-ups joining in the nonsense as they all celebrate the joy of reading... Kids will love the gruesome wordplay, and the digital artwork extends the uproar with spooky shadows like giant cobwebs and body parts, while zombies in school uniforms lurch down Main Street. Perfect for Halloween, this will make fun reading all year round.