cover image That Stinks! A Punny Show-and-Tell

That Stinks! A Punny Show-and-Tell

Alan Katz, illus. by Stephen Gilpin. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4169-7880-0

The classroom is supposed to be a place where appropriate, upbeat language is a baseline expectation. But what if, just once, you could say something truly disruptive—with the teacher standing right there? With a keen sense for juvenile humor, Katz (The Day the Mustache Took Over) imagines the circumstances where this might be totally acceptable: an impromptu show-and-tell in which a string of rude statements turns out to be downright factual. The student presenters announce their offerings with kid-style expletives and exaggerated facial expressions to match; turn the page, and it’s revealed that those expletives are actually literal references to the items at hand. “That stinks!” perfectly describes Jimmy’s pet skunk, while “This totally bites!” is Mike’s way of warning his classmates about his pet tarantula. Gilpin’s (the Fart Squad series) caricature-style drawings of this highly expressive class give Katz’s jokes an extra goose. By the time Jordan announces “It’s the pits!” then explains, “They’re from avocados that grow on my family’s tree!” readers will be reveling in the screwy, subversive fun. Ages 4 –8. Author’s agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. Illustrator’s agency: Shannon Associates. (July)