From School Library Journal
Grade 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
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*Starred Review* Not to put too fine a point on it, but Mr. Stink stinks! “He was,” author Walliams tells us, “the stinkiest stinker who ever lived.” Why? Well, perhaps it’s because he is homeless—unless you can call the old wooden bench on which he spends all his time a home. No one ever speaks to him until the day that a sweet-natured little girl named Chloe says hello. This sets in motion a series of often hilariously funny events that involve not only Chloe but her politically ambitious mother, her insufferable younger sister, a pompous television host, and even, yes, the prime minister himself (who turns out to be pretty insufferable, too). Walliams—a British comedian-actor-writer—has a gift for crafting memorable scenes and, in the person of Mr. Stink, has created a delightfully offbeat character who may have a secret past. The cheerfully rude tone that informs most of his story takes a sharp—and rather jarring—turn for the sentimental at the end, but young readers won’t care, while readers of all ages will be thrilled by the in-a-word perfect illustrations of the great Quentin Blake (who else could draw a picture of stink?). Grades 4-7. --Michael Cart