Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Crackin' Open A New Book

Long before we ever had kids, Lidia and I picked up "children's books" regularly, mostly because we either liked the art, or found a great deal of them surprisingly witty and/or subversive. The works of Lane Smith and Jon Scieszka were always front and centre in our research and bookstore roams, and after years of chuckling at "The Stinky Cheese Man", we decided to splurge and pick up a copy for ourselves. It's been on our shelf for a while, and tonight, we finally got a chance to introduce it to its intended audience.

Admittedly, it's probably a little too complex for the boys at their current age, but it's a hilarious send-up of fairy tale cliches and the illustrations are beautiful. To anyone who knows the tale, "The Stinky Cheese Man" never really accomplishes anything--he runs around offending various persons with his odour (obviously, he's made of limburger, with bacon for a mouth!), rides across the river on the back of a fox, who freaks out over his passenger's horrendous smell, and he falls into the water and dissolves. The end.

Still, it held the boys' interest and if nothing else, introduced them to a few universal concepts: lonely old folks should never fabricate artificial children, foxes can't be trusted, and the word "stinky" is guaranteed to get a laugh from any child in any nation in the world...

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