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TOON LEVEL: 2
INTEREST LEVEL: Age 4+
READING LEVEL: Grades 1-2
LEXILE LEVEL: 300
GUIDED READING LEVEL: J
AUTHOR: Eleanor Davis
DIMENSIONS: 6" x 9"
About the Book
Stinky is a monster who loves pickles and possums but is terrified of people. When a new kid enters his swamp, this adorable little monster comes up with all sorts of crazy plans to scare him away. But Stinky quickly learns to conquer his fear, as he realizes that bats, rats, and toads aren’t the only friends you can find in the swamp. This hilarious and heart-warming story by ferociously talented newcomer Eleanor Davis proves that even monsters can make new friends…warts and all!
Our Stinky Guide contains a Lesson Plan and Student Activity Sheet to support standards-based instruction in the classroom. Our free guides are designed by a team of passionate literacy experts who specialize in classroom instruction for grades K-3.
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About the Author
Eleanor Davis grew up in Tucson, Arizona. Instead of going out in the hot sun to play and make friends, she stayed alone in her room, drawing. She started working on Stinky, her first published children’s book, while still a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Now, only 25 years old, she’s widely praised as one of the coolest artists on the new comics scene. She lives in Athens, Georgia, with her boyfriend (who is also a cartoonist) and three cats (who are not).
Also by Eleanor Davis
Praise for Flop to the Top!
2016 ALSC Notable Children's Books
Texas Library Association Little Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List 2016
Kirkus Prize 2015 Nominee for Young Reader's Literature
ABC Best Books for Young Readers List 2015
★★★ “The book is so much fun that both lessons—in reading and in life—go down
--Kirkus Reviews STARRED REVIEW
★★★ "It is infused with so much warmth, color, and whimsy that young readers will gladly see this book through to its pleasing reversal of fortune."
--Horn Book Magazine STARRED REVIEW
"Eleanor Davis's comic has a visual narrative that's as smooth as butter and an accommodatingly waggish text for kids starting their reading careers."
--Kirkus Reviews Best of 2008
"Davis' colorful art makes Stinky and his swamp delightfully attractive to young readers."
"Using a controlled vocabulary with plenty of repetition, alliteration, and synonyms, this is a well-crafted book for beginning readers. As an added bonus, Davis has written a story first and second graders will actually want to read...An excellent addition to the TOON Books collection."
"Newcomer Eleanor Davis' art is dynamic, cute, and funny in the best comics tradition and her storytelling is concise and purposeful in the best kid-lit tradition. Stinky is remarkably sweet."
--The A.V. Club
“Stinky is as much of a pleasure to actually read as it is to look at... No matter if Stinky is enjoyed alone or with an adult, it is a book young readers will request time and time again. The fun storyline, lush visuals, and appropriate vocabulary work together to make the book an absolute pleasure worthy of a place in any collection of short-chapter books.”
--No Flying No Tights
“This was a great story about unlikely friendships.”
“This book did a great job putting forth the idea that friends are and can be diverse and come from different backgrounds [and] an excellent job in reinforcing that stereotypes and pre-conceived beliefs are often misconceptions.”
"Stinky can be enjoyed by generations of readers thanks to its timeless tale of childhood feuds and lack of dated cultural references... Davis’ artwork shows just how well comic books can help improve a child’s vocabulary and teach visual literacy. Moments like these remind readers of the simple joy of comics – and easily earn Stinky a place next to picture book classics such as William Steig’s Shrek."
“It's standard Beauty and the Beast fare, but without the morality tale: it's just a cute story.”
“The drawings are completely adorable, and the language is perfect for young readers... Stinky is a miracle... Kids everywhere have known for generations that comics are awesome. It seems that schools are finally also realizing this; TOON Books are being adopted in curriculums around the country. Most importantly for us, they've been adopted by a six-year-old in Los Angeles who, previously, didn't feel confident about reading. We love our Stinky and can't wait to read more. Thank you, TOON BOOKS! Thank you and thank you!”
"Having grown up with comic books, and fully embraced the underground movement of the genre in the eighties (including RAW Magazine!), it is fascinating to watch my four year old eagerly try to follow along with the flow of panels and make sense of the dynamic style of story-telling. Sure, this is a far cry from the simple panel work of Caldecott Winners like Mo Willems' Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus , or the open flow of Ian Falconer's Olivia, but it was obvious mid-way through the story that my son was up for the challenge. The chapter breaks are perfect for spent parents, like myself, who need a good break-point for story time (so far my efforts have been fruitless).
Stinky is one of many new stories published by Raw Junior under the tutelage of Art Spiegelman (acclaimed author of the Pulitzer-prize winning graphic novel, Maus) and Francoise Mouly (of The New Yorker and RAW Book fame). Raw Junior is tapping into the rich soil of the comic book genre to reinvent and redefine the world of children's books.
Even though this is a bit of a challenge for the younger readers, I highly recommend this book. The adorable illustrations and clever story-telling draws our boys into the page and keeps their attention, as a parent, what more could you want? The only problem I see with this line of storybooks is that they won't be able to make them fast enough for our voracious little readers."
"The best kind of children's book is one that adults can enjoy equally. Reading Eleanor Davis' Stinky, the newest addition to the TOON Books line, I can't help but feel that Davis would agree. When I was reading Stinky, my initial thought was how much I'd have loved this book as a child. My second though was how much I was enjoying it as an adult."
“The pictures invite close inspection. Finding a bird with a clothespin on its beak, upside down bats and opossums, and a mole reading a book are all delightful finds.”
"In this delightfully funny and original graphic novel, Eleanor Davis gives her readers a wonderful story to read and to look at. Rebus filled speech balloons give children who are new to reading on their own a helping hand, and the text is perfectly suited to emergent readers. With delightful illustrations and a splendid story, this graphic novel is sure to bring Eleanor Davis into the limelight."
"It's a very sweet story, and one that I felt comfortable reading to my three-year-old. It's fun, moves along quickly, and includes lots of little funny bits about all the gross stuff that Stinky loves.
And the art really is perfect. In fact, in my review of America's Best Comics 2008, I wrote about how creator Eleanor Davis's creatures ‘seemed to come straight out of childhood nightmares and fairy tales.’
You can tell that Davis was born to draw stuff like this. The art is distinctive yet attractive, simple enough for children to follow but never dull.
The whole thing is a pleasure to read. It's a great comic book for kids."
“Eleanor Davis' Stinky is what the big screen Shrek would have been if it was actually filmed for younger kids[...] Davis uses a big, bold palette here; the colors are deep and rich, and the text is often highlighted by big WOWs and YOWs. When showing what Stinky thinks most kids are like, she counters with pastels that jump off the page with their blandness, making Nick and the swamp (and Stinky) that much more appealing. One of the things I really liked about the illustrations was that Nick is a t-shirt, shorts, and barefoot kid--you couldn't ask for a better depiction of summer--and yet he is decidedly modern as well. There's nothing scary here, but a whole lot of fun (and even some gross-out goodness). Stinky was a big hit with my six-year old, and I'm sure he will enjoy a lot of fans."
"The charming cartoon artwork, full of humorous details, complements the text, and the muted color scheme makes Stinky endearing rather than scary. The simple vocabulary and repetition of words make the text accessible for emergent readers, who will love the graphic-novel format. The engaging plot shows young readers that it's possible to make friends with those who may seem very different from themselves."
--School Library Journal
"Features agreeably distinct, faintly retro graphics in a crystal-clear sequential layout dotted with carefully placed environmental print and sound effect ('BLORP BLORP') to complement the speech balloons. The winning story carries itself on spunk and a controlled vocabulary that combines judiciously chosen sight words (onions, gross) with easily sounded-out words (slimy slugs!) that will have emerging readers in stitches."
"Lovely, heartwarming stuff, beautifully illustrated and packed with delightful, funny touches...Another hit from TOON Books."
--Forbidden Planet International
"This book is really fun, albeit gross (it’s replete with pickled onions and a toad named Wartbelly), and its message of tolerance and understanding is crucial for young minds."
“In the never-ending struggle against misconceptions about those who are different from us, few people consider what preconceived notions oogly monsters have of humans. Eleanor Davis’ easy reader graphic novel Stinky investigates the possibilities through a mix of old-fashioned cartoon good feelings and modern gross humor that sit quite nicely next to each other.
Stinky is a big-headed, stubbily-horned, purple, polka-dotted monster with an obese pet frog named Wartbelly and a penchant for pickled onions. Stinky has a clear vision of what human kids are like, pristine little squeaky clean bores who don’t like yucky things. Enter one kid with a treehouse to undercut Stinky’s expectations.
These are simple lessons about bigotry that reach to harder, more complicated realities, and they are presented in amusing, likable scenarios. If it’s sad that we still have to teach such lessons to children in 2008, it’s at least nice when the necessary preaching comes in the form of stories like Stinky. Pickled onion jokes make everything easier to swallow.”
“The Raw Junior books are a wonderful introduction to graphic novels for kids, and STINKY is a great addition to the line. The full-color illustrations fit perfectly with the story, and the text is simple enough for younger readers to read on their own or with a parent. A really fun book!”
"One of the very kid-friendly Toon series from Little Lit Library (run by Françoise Mouly, wife of graphic novel pioneer Art Spiegelman, author of Maus), this illustration-infused early reader, winner of a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor (silver medal), uses classic cartoon panels, balloon dialogue, and lots of swampy details to immerse readers in the story. Children will want to continue the story in similar style, writing and drawing the future exploits of Stinky Seymour and his new friend, Nick."
--Read Kiddo Read
"Kids love it when characters play against type. Not only does this method of storytelling pave the way for some humor, but it also allows the author to challenge conventional thinking. The children’s lit landscape is full of birds that don’t like to fly, kids that want to be adults, dogs that want to be wolves, doughnuts that want to be dogs, cats that want to be chihuahuas, and so on. Add Stinky to this list. A purple monster who leads a disgustingly smelly life, yet is afraid of children. Eleanor Davis, in her children’s book debut, turns out a easy reader comic with a solid balance of humor and subtle poignancy. Well illustrated and fun to read, Stinky will be a hit with young readers[...] Vivid illustrations splash across each page, moving the action along in style. The simplified images manage to retain detail, yet stay uncluttered, clearing the way for the word-balloon dialog.
Sure to make its way into kids' hands, Stinky will be a popular choice with beginning readers. I wholeheartedly approve."
"[T]his is Davis' first published comic book and she nails it. So much so that she's nominated for an Eisner Award this year. The narrative is flawless, the images pop with color and personality and the story is completely charming. It's far too easy to make this kind of material pretentious or cutesy. But Davis' story is heartfelt. The humor is never forced; it comes organically from the character. She makes Stinky the kind of dude any kid would want to hang and eat pickled onions with."
“A smart way to keep visual literacy in kids' books as they become better readers, comics can also hook reluctant readers in ways text-only books don't. “
"It's a fun and engaging storyline, easy for children to predict, but familiar and humorous. The comic panels are excellently designed for the early reader experience and the art is clean-cut and elegant. Definitely an honor winner! I'll be adding this one to our collection."
--Jean Little Library
"Out of all the books we received, Stinky was my personal favorite[...]Nick and Stinky are wonderful characters. Nick is inquisitive and fearless, and very sensitive and thoughtful of others' feelings. Stinky, on the other hand, is selfish and stubborn at first, but changes his ways when he befriends Nick. The language is simple enough for kids to read, but flows nicely and conveys the story well.
Davis' artwork is adorable, and little details add humor and whimsy to the scenes. For instance, in one panel, Stinky brushes his teeth with a toothpaste called 'Crush' while the forest animals look on, clothespins over their noses. The animals are especially well-drawn.
This is a great book that I think kids and parents will really enjoy reading together."
"As a parent I was thrilled with these enticing books that held my reluctant reader's interest and kept him reading page after page without any pressure from mum or dad to just try and read one more page. In fact we all liked them so much I've ordered the first three for Christmas presents this year and look forward to the next books that will published next year. These 'early readers' are a fabulous use of the graphic novel format."
"Eleanor Davis is a major cartooning talent, and ‘Stinky’ is the kind of book that everyone in your family will enjoy, no matter their age."
"A woods Monster loves his messy home....and he loves his icky food. until a young boy comes around and the monster finds out that you may like things if you try them. Exposure and trying new things is a great theme this cartoon style book discusses."
"Eleanor Davis’ book is a great addition to the Toon Book library, and a great addition to any classroom library with emerging readers, especially readers whose likes and dislikes include mushy, mucky mud, slimy slugs, and stinky smells."
--Help Readers Love Reading!