Chris Rumble, Author . Tricycle $15.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-58246-120-5 ISBN 978-1-58246-122-9

Rumble kicks off the Adventures of Uncle Stinky series with this scattered, daft story of a man who "smells like old fish and onions" and hails from the city of Hootenholler. Copiously illustrated with amateurish cartoons, the book is narrated by Zack, the smelly fellow's nephew, who laments the fact that his aspiring do-gooder uncle has a less-than-exemplary sidekick in Pickle ("he deserves better company than a kosher dill"). So Zack (with clothespin clipped to his nose) volunteers himself and his baby brother to take over as sidekicks. Cautioning readers that "You're gonna need this if you're gonna join our adventures!" Zack, using a chart of various nose types, offers advice on selecting an appropriate clothespin. Then "It's Story Time with Uncle Stinky!" brings a ridiculous yarn about an enormous, bumbling blue dog. The pace hardly picks up as Uncle Stinky helps the balding Mayor Naise disguise his bad comb-over by covering his scalp with worms meant to resemble hair; and then sets off a string of calamities when the odiferous hero yanks up a woman's falling-down pants, giving her a "bit of a wedgie." As an incongruent closure to this inanity, the author awards two sisters (pictured in a photo) as "Honorary Sidekicks!" for helping out with a class of children with special needs. It's difficult to imagine where this series is headed, but it's unlikely that many readers will follow on to Stink Trek , due this fall. Ages 7-11. (May )

Reviewed on: 06/14/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
Hardcover - 95 pages - 978-1-58246-120-5
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-99969-4
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