Book #212: I Love You, Stinky Face

I Love You Stinky Face -- coverThis is one of those books that you can read to a broad age range and it never really gets old (at least for the kids). I started out with the intent to read this book to my two-year-olds, but soon enough my son, who is in kindergarten, was asking for it, too. Repeatedly.

I like to think of I Love You, Stinky Face as the modern answer to Margaret Wise Brown’s The Runaway Bunny. The concept is the old familiar one, with the child looking for all sorts of ways to get his mother to reject him, and the mother steadfastly refusing.

Mama said, “I love you, my wonderful child.”
But I had a question.
Mama, what if I were a big, scary ape? Would you still love me then?

An ape, a skunk, an alligator with razor-sharp teeth — nothing derails Mama. If her son became a bug-eating alien, she’d be the first to make him a spider sandwich. And how can you not love this double-paged spread?

I love you Stinky Face -- big monster

“Then I would live by the swamp and take care of you always. I’d tell you, ‘I love you, my slimy swamp monster!'”

The last monster in the book is a rather adorable one-eyed monster, which Mama rocks to sleep in a hammock. “I love you, Mama,” the little boy says.  “And I love you, my wonderful child,” Mama replies.  

The monsters are scary looking enough to be interesting but not too terrifying, and the picture of the crying crocodile with his mother peering into his throat is charming. There’s not much I don’t like about this book, although I got tired of reading it after a while. It’s not necessarily lyrical. But it’s sweet and funny and reassuring.  What more can you ask for?  ABZ

I love you stinky face - alien tongueI love you stinky face -- skunk

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