Monday, November 8, 2010

The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales

Title: The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales
Authors: Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
Genre: Children's Picture Book/Spin-off of Fairy Tales
Age Group: Mid-Upper Elementary
Rating: 5 Stars

Being one of my childhood favorites, I couldn't wait to read this book again in order to complete a blog post.  The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales is a collection of spin-offs of the classic fairy tales. (i.e. The Princess and the Bowling Ball instead of the Princess and the Pea).  The book is a Caldecott Honor Book, and contains texturized, bold, collaged illustrations that really serve as separate pieces of art throughout the book.  For first time readers, this book could be extremely confusing, as the text jumps around the page, and goes from large to small to bold to colored texts at random.  Additionally, the narrator, Jack, jumps in and out of the stories, discussing the putting together of the book itself.  It is a very humorous book that involves fun tales to read aloud to younger kids, but it's uniqueness will probably only be fully appreciated by an older crowd.  

The fact that the book is divided into many little stories could be used to the teacher's or parent's benefit.  The book could be used for a lesson on writing or fairy tales, but the content itself may not be extremely useful in a classroom setting.  For this reason, I think that this fun read could be used as a "free-time" read or a read aloud as a reward for a class' good behavior.  Or, one short story could be read to start the day or end the day, in a way to calm the kids and get them ready to go.  I personally definitely intend to have this book in my future classroom, because I think the way that it is written is extremely unique and could help when teaching the students about different kinds of writing and books.

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