The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Fairytales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
|Image from Wikipedia|
My first Jon Scisezka and Lane Smith experience came in the form of The Time Warp Trio book 13. I had fun reading that book and also very much enjoyed the illustrations. The Stinky Cheese Man, true to the form of both Sciezka and Lane, has humor, wit, and amazing illustrations.
The Stinky Cheese Man and Fairly Stupid Tales is a postmodern children's book by Jon Scieszka. Published in 1992 by Viking, it is a collection of twisted, humorous parodies of famous children's stories and fairy tales, such as "Little Red Riding Hood", "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Gingerbread Man". Illustrated in a unique style by Lane Smith, the book won the New York Times Best Illustrated Book award, was a Caldecott Honor book, and has won numerous other awards in various countries. The book has proved to be popular with children and adults, as its lighthearted approach creates interest while educating young readers about some of the features of books (such as title and contents) by poking fun at those conventions. The book was re-released in a tenth anniversary edition in 2002, and included a new story.
This is my first time to encounter a post modern picture book. There is more interaction between the book and the reader as the former tries to engage the latter to make certain connections from the story, or physically flip the book upside down, as both the text and the drawings challenge you. Font size moves from small to big or vice versa. Illustrations are dynamic and varied. Drawings disappear leaving behind just silhouettes to indicate their supposed position. The book is weird, different, my kind of thing. It is really such a fun book. Tinges of irony and dark humor can be found in the stories. But with most anthologies, I tend to like some stories more than the others. The artwork is superb. It spent a lot of time lingering on the pages for the Lane Smith's illustrations. I noticed how he usually has a lot of sharp edges in his drawings.
Here are some illustrations from the book:
|The table of contents falling down on Chicken Licken and his gang.|
|Nope. I didn't stand on my head not because I did not want to, it's because I can't :P|
|The really ugly duckling who turned out to be.... just that.|
|The Princess and the Bowling Ball. Hilarious!|
|Even the cow couldn't stand the Stinky Cheese Man! Phew!|