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The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales Hardcover – October 1, 1992
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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.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
But! FANS OF THE ABSURD, REJOICE! For here we have a tome of award-winning stupidity with illustrations to match. I first came into contact with this book when I was 16 in a math class. A classmate brought it to show to our teacher. The teacher loved it so much he made us stop doing work so he could read it aloud to us. One student laughed so hard she gave herself hiccoughs. LITERALLY. Such is the power of these Fairly Stupid Tales. Those of us who witnessed the reading went on to spread the word and the teacher went on to read the book to subsequent classes. It was not unusual to hear "Who will help me spell 'the wheat'?" or "What is that funky smell?" in the hallways. Soon, I was reliving Jack's Bean Problem for the entertainment of others. It was the best of times, it was the stupidest of times.
Anywho, this book is really great for the eight and up crowd, as they are more developmentally capable of processing parody. But if your younger kids enjoy the Lego movies, they will probably enjoy The Stinky Cheese Man. Have a Spongebob fan? Get that kid a copy of the Stinky Cheese Man! This makes a great stick-extractor for that angsty teenager in your life. Just tell your brooder that this is a treatise on existentialism as interpreted by cubist chickens. If the book doesn't get a laugh, then you can at least find entertainment in their indignance.
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.
But it's the screamingly funny text and outrageously zany illustrations that have made this book a (well-deserved) legend. Even though it contains the alleged Surgeon General's stamp-disclaimer warning that it "has been determined that these tales are fairly stupid and probably dangerous to your health" these nutty stories are anything but dangerous. The bottom line is that they're comedy-parodies that make all ages think, but don't require a degree to get the joke. The book succeeds from its bonus tale printed under its book cover to its final silly page.
Tales include Chicken Licken with its great ending (comedy coach Greg Dean writes that comedy is a "shattered assumption" and that's what we get here and it's FUN); The Princess and the Bowling Ball (take off on the Princess and the Pea); The Really Ugly Duckling (probably a truer version of this tale than has ever appeared before); the Other Frog Prince (the frog wants a kiss...but what is he??); Little Red Running Shorts; Jack's Bean Problem, Cinderumpelstiltskin; the Tortoise and the Hair; and the absolute all time classic The Stinky Cheese Man, a superb satire of the Gingerbread man with a laugh-out-loud ending.
This book SHOULD be titled "The Stinkey Cheese Man and Other Absolutely Hilarious Witty Tales." If you like satire/parody and want your kids (or you) to read an upscale Mad-type take off on fairy tales, this book is for YEW! Now my only problem is: where can I HIDE this book after the kids read it, so I can keep it for myself???
I am extremely happy with this book purchase. This book allows my boys to get involved with the story. They crack up every single time we get to the part where Jack and the Giant have a disagreement over who should tell their side of the story. They dissolve into laughter when we read about the Frog Prince with the pitiful frog voice that tries to weasel a kiss out of the unsuspecting princess.
I could not have asked for a better book. I enjoyed this book as a child and, now, my own children are getting the same silly story experience that I remember The Stinky Cheese Man giving me. The only thing disappointing about this book is that it isn't longer. Order this one for your little one's book shelf. You won't be disappointed!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
They also love it.
The book came on time and in perfect condition.
My daughter loves sarcasm and dry and dark humor.