Monday, June 8, 2009

Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid, by Megan McDonald

My daughter, Crazy Jane, got a Judy Moody book on CD from the library before we went on a car trip last year. Because the lady reading the story sounded old, it's hard for me to imagine Judy as a girl, and Megan McDonald as being this side of 70. So in my mind, Judy Moody is something that old people mistakenly think young people enjoy, like Yahtzee and school plays.

Now that she has a few more months of reading under her belt, Crazy Jane can read Judy Moody books, and does so ferociously. When my wife learned that Megan McDonald was now writing books about Judy's younger brother Stink, she bought the first one for me to read to our oldest son, Articulate Joe. It was next up in the rotation while we finished whatever book we were reading at the time. The wait was too long, though, and Crazy Jane read it to Articulate Joe when they were supposed to be falling asleep in their bunk beds.

Say what you will about my superfluous nature, I believe I bring more story-reading ability to the table than a six-year-old. Articulate Joe agreed to have me re-read the book to him, since there are times when Crazy Jane has to skip words she can't quite figure out.

I enjoyed this book, and would read more of them aloud. (Although reading the book to two kids who'd already read it meant I had to keep telling them, "Don't ruin it for me! Let me wait to find that out.") Judy appears sporadically, but when she does I still imagine an old lady's voice. The Moodys live in Virginia, which was exciting for our kids, since we're moving there in two months. From a parent's perspective, Judy and Stink don't use words like "dumb" and "stupid" as much as Junie B. Jones, which is nice (especially considering how Crazy Jane has a problem with getting those words stuck in her head after reading a Barbara Park book). My kids want to write a letter to Megan McDonald, asking her how she works with her illustrator, since they live across the country from each other. If they end up writing it, and end up getting a response, I'll let you know. (They've been on a bit of a letter-writing kick lately. Crazy Jane recently wrote a letter to President Obama telling him that I met my wife in Sunday School when I was six, just like she read Harry Truman did.)

Rating: 5.5 out of 7 giant inflatable monkeys.

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