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The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales Paperback – September 6, 2007

489 customer reviews

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Paperback, September 6, 2007
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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews Review

If geese had graves, Mother Goose would be rolling in hers. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales retells--and wreaks havoc on--the allegories we all thought we knew by heart. In these irreverent variations on well-known themes, the ugly duckling grows up to be an ugly duck, and the princess who kisses the frog wins only a mouthful of amphibian slime. The Stinky Cheese Man deconstructs not only the tradition of the fairy tale but also the entire notion of a book. Our naughty narrator, Jack, makes a mockery of the title page, the table of contents, and even the endpaper by shuffling, scoffing, and generally paying no mind to structure. Characters slide in and out of tales; Cinderella rebuffs Rumpelstiltskin, and the Giant at the top of the beanstalk snacks on the Little Red Hen. There are no lessons to be learned or morals to take to heart--just good, sarcastic fun that smart-alecks of all ages will love. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Grade-school irreverence abounds in this compendium of (extremely brief) fractured fairy tales, which might well be subtitled "All Things Gross and Giddy." With a relentless application of the sarcasm that tickled readers of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs , Scieszka and Smith skewer a host of juvenile favorites: Little Red Running Shorts beats the wolf to grandmother's house; the Really Ugly Duckling matures into a Really Ugly Duck; Cinderumpelstiltskin is "a girl who really blew it." Text and art work together for maximum comic impact--varying styles and sizes of type add to the illustrations' chaos, as when Chicken Licken discovers that the Table of Contents, and not the sky, is falling. Smith's art, in fact, expands upon his previous waggery to include increased interplay between characters, and even more of his intricate detail work. The collaborators' hijinks are evident in every aspect of the book, from endpapers to copyright notice. However, the zaniness and deadpan delivery that have distinguished their previous work may strike some as overdone here. This book's tone is often frenzied; its rather specialized humor, delivered with the rapid-fire pacing of a string of one-liners, at times seems almost mean-spirited. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Paperback: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (September 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670063002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670063000
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (489 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,068,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Michael Crane on August 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Hey, I may be in college, but this was a book I read all the time when I was little. I'm currently taking Children's Lit, which requires me reading 70 children's books. I found this one burried in my room, forgetting that I still owned it. I read it, and it still made me laugh. "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales" is one entertaining book.
It's some of your favorite fairy tales.....except told in parody form. They're hillarious. My favorites are "Jack's Bean Problem," "Little Red Running Shorts," "Chicken Licken," and "The Really Ugly Duckling." But they're all very funny. The Little Red Hen will crack you up as she blabbers on about how no one is helping her and how horrible this book is.
The book is by Jon Scieszka and is illustrated by Lane Smith.
It doesn't matter how old you are, this is one of the funniest children's book I have ever read. Fun for all ages. Great writing and pictures. Have a look whenever you can. I'm sure you will not regret it.
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By on November 15, 1997
Format: Paperback
I feel guilty, but it is true. One night before bedtime my 8 year old son Dylan said, "Will you read me a story?" It had been a long day and I was tired so I started in with "Aw, Dylan not tonight....". It was just then he reached under the bed and pulled out the Stinky Cheese Man. Now I had read the Stinky Cheese before so I thought I knew what was coming. He said just relax Mom, and I will read you a story. Dylan proceded through the Stinky Cheese Man with all the drama and inflection he could muster. He used different voices for all the different characters. In those few moments I was transformed. My fatigue was replaced with the awe of my young son so totally rapt in this exceedingly silly story. I laughed until I thought I would cry. Now at night when it is time for Dylan to go to bed, I say, "How about the Stinky Cheese Man tonight?" It is a delightful story with a warped sense of humor!
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64 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Joel L. Gandelman VINE VOICE on September 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
GREAT! What other word can possibly come to mind reading The Stinky Cheese Man? I originally bought this book for my niece and nephew, Kayla and Greg. But before I gave it to them I read it myself and I simply could not stop laughing.
The best way to describe this to parents and adults is: it's a combination of Rocky and Bullwinkle (working on two humor levels), Mad Magazine, Mother Goose, and absolute literary anarchy. If you're an adult and have any sense of humor whatsoever you're going to laugh out loud. The best way to describe this to parents is to quote Greg, 10, who, upon being told he'd get this book said: "GREAT! It has those funny stories and those crazy drawings. I love it!!"
How did author Jon Scieszka and illustrator hit on a book that truly appeals to ALL ages? The book is a parody, moving visually and in its text as fast as a guided missle, but never for one millisecond underestimating the intelligence of its kid -- or adult -- readership. My Special 10 Year Anniversary Edition of this book contained a "Long Lost Stupid Fairy Tale" printed under the cover, the Boy Who Cried Cow Patty, a take off of the boy who cried "Wolf." (There is a less kid friendly version of this great story circulating on the internet).
Once you open the book (and I will not give it all away) you are immediately comedically clobbered with the Little Red Hen, who can't wait until the title page is seen to start her story and is upset with the management. Fonts, page layout, are all satirized or exploited for maximum laughs. Any kid who has ever had a fairy tale read to him/her and looked at a typical fairy tale book will get the visual joke immediately. So this book is not only a book they can read but a book that will make them WANT to read MORE...and see that reading can truly be FUN.
Read more ›
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
So it's not the best role model for kids, making fun of something. But this book will have you laughing at every page. Jack, the narrator, makes everything into a joke, from the title page to the end paper. The stories are the humerous version of classic fairy tales, like "The Stinky Cheese Man" and "Little Red Running Shorts" These are the greatest stories to read out loud, and will have your listener and yourself rolling with laughter. It will have even the person who hates to read reading it. It really catches your attention. It is by far a classic book of tales. The writer is very good at making you laugh. I recommend this to people of ALL ages.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Sam G on December 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The very first thing you should look for in a children's book is that you are still going to be entertained after you have read it for the four hundredth and seventy sixth time in two weeks. This book delivers! The first time I read it I was standing in the middle of a bookstore screaming with laughter. Every kid I know loves it and their parents have a ball reading it to them. Don't forget to read everything including the copyright. What could be better at the end of the day than to laugh with your kids?
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. D. Allison ( on May 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This children's book is a hilarious tongue-in-cheek retelling of noted fairy tales. When I first read this book I laughed and laughed (I'm over 50); but, I said to myself that little children (certainly in the age group given by the publisher and the professional reviewers) would miss most of the humor. And preschoolers would be even less able to see the humor. Thus, I began to agree with the other customer reviewers who only gave the book one or two stars. But, notice that I gave the book five stars. Look at the other comments. And look at the responses you see from children that you may come in contact with. Children really enjoy the lampooning of tales they have heard thousands of time. Let us not forget that children tend to be smarter than we may think! Lampooning has always been popular (I really don't understand the comments made by an earlier adult reviewer who thought the book was simply stupid). One of the most hilarious tales of ancient Greece was a lampoon of the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" by Pigres entitled "The Battle of the Frogs and Mice" (also known as "Batrachomyomachia"). The humor of lampoons seem to be "over-the-head" of some adults but not over-the-head of most children! This children's book was illustrated by Lane Smith and it was a 1993 Caldecott Honor book (i.e., a runner-up to the Medal winner) for best illustrations in a book for children.
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