Mr. Stink

269p. 978-1-59514-332-7.
Gr 3—6—A lonely 12-year-old girl and a local tramp hit it off, and thus begins this delightful tale. Perhaps Chloe would not need to turn to Mr. Stink (he bathes once a year) if her overbearing mother accepted her for who she is and did not seem to prefer her sister. Chloe, however, is very good at taking people for who they are. She provides Mr. Stink with shelter, food, and friendship, and in the process unburdens herself to him and learns his secrets. This British import is reminiscent of Roald Dahl's books in its silly, exaggerated storytelling, and while some words may be unfamiliar to American readers and the ending is a bit melodramatic, the characters are appealing, the situations are hilarious, and the plot moves quickly. Blake's charming illustrations appear throughout.—Mariela Siegert, Westfield Middle School, Bloomingdale, IL
'Tis the season of Christmas and British parliamentary elections when twelve-year-old Chloe Crumb meets homeless Mr. Stink. Their friendship yields life lessons for Chloe and her family, especially politico wannabe Mrs. Crumb, or "Croooome" as she, the queen of keeping up appearances, pronounces it. Walliams's comedy of manners is full of laugh-out-loud moments, many brought to life in Blake's lively, loose-handed sketches.

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