Review Blog

Jun 09 2017

The Stinky Street Stories by Alex Ratt (Frances Watt)

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Ill. by Jules Faber. Macmillan, 2017. ISBN 9781743539026
(Age: 7-9) Recommended. Themes: Humorous stories, Community Life, Smells. Alex Ratt's Stinky Street Stories are four humorous tales that introduce young Brian and his friend Nerf whose lives are magnets for all things odoriferous. Each easy to read story investigates a mystery centred on things that are of course putrid, pongy and disgusting. Who knew there were so many different ways to describe odours, so many puns and silly situations? Unusual odours need to be investigated by Brian and his best friend Nerf, together they seek the source of the putrid smell pervading Brian's house, explore a paddock full of disgustingly smelly objects and engage in a fight between the boys and girls of the Stinky community.
Each tale is layered with slapstick comedy. While looking for the source of a terrible stink at home, Brian decides to wear a peg on his nose and Nerf stuffs two carrots up his nostrils. Of course, being unable to smell leads the boys down a rather sticky pathway, tracking the dog and cat's vomit throughout the house. In The Ripe and Rotten Reek, the boys visit Great-Uncle McStinky's farm. When Brian and Nerf venture into a farm paddock wearing pumpkin heads with stick antennas, an enraged bull chases them across a zigzag path pitted with cow Frisbees and they end up in the stinking manure pile!
Jules Faber's amusing cartoons of evil grinning pumpkins, tuna vomit, oozing hands and Porkules the Wonder Pig add to the fun of reading these stories. Alex Ratt understands the interests of young readers around 7-9 years of age who enjoy far-fetched, funny stories. These are fun to read aloud to a Middle Primary class, inspiring them to write their own stories based on one of the five senses.
Rhyllis Bignell

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