For some reason I seem to be reading all his books backwards (in order, that is, not the actual books!). Here’s what I think about Mr Stink … (that rhymes you know…)
Having read the later stuff first, I can see that David’s books started off very simple indeed and seem to me to have become more complex as he has enjoyed more popularity. This story is of a young girl, Chloe who meets a post-talking tramp called Mr Stink. Chloe’s mother is bent on taking over the world of politics and she has an annoying sister who is perfect at everything. The amiable Mr Stink’s backstory comes out as the book progresses. Oh, and he loves sausages.
The story encourages children to not judge books (people) by their cover and that actions speak louder than words (that’s it for clichés in this article – no more, I promise). As with all his books, it’s funny and endearing and has a bittersweet ending that is both fitting and satisfying. It will appeal to a broad age range. Younger children (5-8) will love Quentin Blake’s illustrations and will be able to engage with the story and characters. Older children (8-12) could probably read it for themselves and see some of the subtler messages in the story that I’ve touched upon above.
It’s easy to see why he’s so popular.
Rating out of 5: ♦♦♦♦♦
Suggested age: 5 -12